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Full text of "Aunt Sally, or, The cross the way of freedom : a narrative of the slave-life and purchase of the mother of Rev. Isaac Williams of Detroit, Michigan"

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BRUCE GOTTEN U 



COLLECTION 

OF 

NORTH CAKOLINBANA 



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THE LIBRARY OF THE 

UNIVERSITY OF 

NORTH CAROLINA 




THE COLLECTION OF 
NORTH CAROLINIANA 



CC326.92 
W72a 



Digitized by the Internet Archive 
in 2013 



http://archive.org/details/auntsallyorcrossamer 




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AUNT SALLY 



on, 



THE CROSS THE WAY OF FREEDOM. 



A NARRATIVE OF THE SLAVE-LIFE AND PUKCHASE 

OF THE MOTHER OF REV. ISAAC 

WILLIAMS, OF DETROIT, 

MICHIGAN. 



"Thou shalt no more be termed Forsaken, .... for the 
Lord delighteth in thee."— Isaiah lxii: 4. 



CINCINNATI: 
WESTERN TRACT AND BOOK FOCIETY. 



Copyright secured to the 

AMERICAN REFORM TRACT AND BOOK SOCIETY, 

Cincinnati, Ohio. 



Stereotyped by C. F. O'Driscoll & On. 



PREFACE. 



There are very few Anti-Slavery books 

adapted to the young, yet no field could 

furnish a more attractive literature for 

children than this. Robinson Crusoe and 

the Arabian Mghts would seem lifeless 

and uninteresting by the side of hundreds 

of true and simple narratives which 

might be written of slave life in our 

Southern States. This story of "Aunt 

Sally" is, probably, no more remarkable 

than multitudes of others; only it has 

chanced to come to notice. It is strictly 

true in all its incidents. It has not been 

embellished, or wrought up for effect^ but 

ill 



IV PREFACE. 



is given, as nearly as possible, in the 
words in which it was related to the 
writer. "Aunt Sally" is a veritable per- 
son, and is now living in Detroit, Michi- 
gan, with her son, Rev. Isaac Williams, 
who is pastor of a Methodist church 
there. 

The portraits in this book have been 
engraved from daguerreotypes, which are 
faithful likenesses of "Aunt Sally," her 
son and his family. 

The writer hopes that this little story 
may be the means of leading those who 
read it to think and feel deeply upon the 
truths which it involves, and that many 
more similar books may be written for 
our Sabbath Schools, so that the young 
may grow up imbued with the spirit of 
liberty, and rejoicing to labor for that 



PREFACE. Y 

oppressed and unhappy race which "Aunt 
Sally" represents, so, at length, this unfor- 
tunate people shall be slaves no longer, 
but shall find that, to them all, the Cross 
has been the "Way of Freedom. 
Brooklyn, N. F., May, 1858. 



CONTENTS. 



PAGI. 

Chap. I. — Introductory 9 

II. — Introductory 16 

III. — Sunshine and Clouds of Childhood 24 

IV. — The Camp Meeting 33 

V.— The Wedding 46 

VI. — A Slave's Work and a Slave's Home 55 

VII.— A Husband Sold . 66 

VIIL— A New Husband—Children Sold 78 

IX.— The Horn a Desolate— the Mother Sold too.. 88 

X.— The Slave-Pen 98 

XL— The Slave-Gang 113 

XII.— Almost Despair 127 

XIIL— Sold Again— Gleams of Light ,. 138 

XIV.— The Lash— Flight and Return 149 

XV.— The Tyrannical Mistress — A Slave's Sab- 
hath 162 

XVI. — News from a long-lost Son 170 

XVIL— The Light of Hope at last 180 

XVIIL— Hope Realized 192 

XIX. — A Home in Freedom and Peace 207 



AUNT SALLY 



CHAPTER I. 

INTRODUCTORY. 



Mother ! it is the holiest word 
That ever out of heaven was heard ! 
Her heart beats on, though free or slave, 
All warm for those whose life she gave; 
And sooner can the verdant cane 
Forget its liquid sweets to gain, 
And the magnolia's flowers of snow 
To open when the soft winds blow, 
And the lone stars to shine above, 
Than I '11 forget her faithful love ! 

Some twenty-five years ago, in Fayetteville, 
North Carolina, a slave boy, named Isaac 
Williams, was suddenly told that his mother 
had been sold to a speculator, and was going 
to Alabama. He loved her with all the ardor 
of a young heart which had nothing else to 
cling to, and when these terrible words fell 
on his ear, he sank down, overcome with an- 

(9) 



10 AUNT SALLY. 



guisk and dismay. All the past came back 
to him, sorrowful indeed, but endurable be- 
cause shared with her. His earliest recollec- 
tions were of those long days in the rice- 
fields, when she carried him securely fastened 
to her back, with his baby brother tucked in 
her dress in front, because she would not leave 
them to be neglected in her cabin, nor lay 
them down, where snakes might crawl over 
them, by the side of the fence. How weary 
she must have been, his young mother; for 
then she was scarcely seventeen ; but yet how 
kind she was; how patient when he was tired 
and fretful ! He thought of th e many evenings 
he had seen her spinning by the light-wood 
fire, that she might have yarn for knitting 
socks, wherewith to purchase a jacket or a hat 
or a pair of shoes for his Sunday wear, or 
sewing industriously to make or mend some 
needful garment, when so fatigued with the 
day's labor that she nodded between the 
stitches, and at last sat down in heavy slumber 
over her work. He th ought of all the prayers 
she had offered for him, and of her faithful 
counsels as he came to maturer years. He 
remembered her grief when his father was 
sold from her, and yet the meekness with 



AUNT SALLY. 11 



which she yielded to what she could not pre- 
vent, and the quiet cheerfulness and energy 
with which she toiled to provide a comfortable 
home for herself and her children when she 
had hired her time of her master. All these 
and a thousand recollections more flashed 
upon his mind as he heard of her fate, and 
ran to ask his master's permission to go and 
bid her farewell. It was granted, and first 
he went to the little house which she had 
rented, and where she had earned her living 
by the sale of cakes and beer. He opened the 
door. All was confusion. The few articles 
of furniture, which she had labored so hard 
to obtain, were either removed or lying in 
disorder about the room. The bright fire 
was out, the welcoming voice was silent. 
Upon inquiry, he learned that her purchaser 
had taken her, with many others, to a " wagon- 
yard," or, more properly, slave-pen, where 
they would be kept securely till he was ready 
to start on his distant journey. Thither he 
bent his steps. When he reached the place, 
he found that his old grandmother, who lived 
several miles farther in the country, had heard 
also of her daughter's sale, and had come with 
tears and tremblings to bid her adieu. 



12 AUNT SALLY. 



Can you imagine a scene like this? Can 
you think of your mother, who, dear as she 
is, is no dearer to you than Isaac's was to 
him, torn by brute force from her home, shut 
up in a narrow yard like a wild animal in a 
cage, her every look and tear watched by her 
purchaser, who walks about, whip in hand, to 
quell any who may be refractory, and her 
last agonized words of affection spoken to 
you through a crack in the fence which 
guards the enclosure? Yet all this the poor 
boy had to suffer, and his heart was as tender 
as yours. 

What would you do? Would you become 
almost frantic in your grief, and rave wildly 
at the master, and strive to break down the 
bars and release your mother from so terrible 
a captivity? Would you? Then you would 
be guilty of treason and rebellion in the eyes 
of the law, and her owner would be justified 
in imprisoning you — nay, in taking your life 
if he deemed it expedient. Merciful Father! 
pity those whom no man pities, and by thine 
own power elevate those on whom the world 
and the world's law tramples! 

So poor Isaac could only sob as if his heart 
would break, and wonder why he and sha 



AUNT SALLY. 13 



were ever born (was it strange?) and resolve 
with his whole soul, that if God spared his 
life, he would one day be free, and seek out 
his mother, and redeem her, though she were 
sold to a thousand Alabamas. Thus they 
parted. 

The slave-train moved off, and Isaac and 
his old grandmother returned to their re- 
spective masters. How dark seemed the way 
to him now. He could no longer anticipate, 
as heretofore, a Sunday visit to his mother, 
and a treat of cakes and beer. There was no 
one to speak an affectionate or encouraging 
word to him. Sometimes he was tempted to 
be wholly discouraged, but he determined tc 
rise above such a feeling, and to keep un- 
changed his faith in God and his purpose 
of freedom. So several years passed away, 
during which he grew to manhood, when a 
death occurred in his master's family which 
rendered a division of the property — that is, 
of the men and women — necessary, and Isaac 
fell to a relative in Mississippi. Farewell to 
North Carolina! True, he was still a slave, 
but he felt that in some way he was moving 
toward liberty, and so went gladly over the 
mountains and rivers to his untried home. 



14 AUNT SALLY. 



He had not been long settled there when, 
in 1833, he married a young colored woman, 
on an adjacent plantation. And now that he 
had a wife and children growing up about 
him, did he lose sight of his early resolution ? 
By no means. He was always revolving in 
his mind how he should compass his own 
freedom and regain his mother. In 1838, his 
master went to Mobile, and Isaac accompa- 
nied him as his waiting-man. There was 
then living there a cousin of his mother's, an 
intelligent slave woman, named Mary Ann 
"Williams. To her he applied, hoping she 
could give him some information. He was 
disappointed ; she knew nothing of her cous- 
in's fate, but promised to remember her, and 
as she could write, to communicate to him 
everything she might be able to learn. Mean- 
while his wife's freedom was purchased by 
her father, and Isaac, hiring his time of his 
master, went to Orleans and worked as a 
carpenter until he had gained his own. Eut 
he did not forget his mother ; she was always 
the burden of his thoughts and his prayers. 
How many plans did he make to ascertain 
where she was; how many letters did he 
write to Tuscaloosa and Mobile, and to every 



AUNT SALLY. 15 



place where he thought there could be the 
least possibility of gaining the desired in- 
telligence ! At length, when he had almost 
despaired of success, he received a letter from 
Mary Ann Williams, at Mobile, telling him 
that, by a singular incident, which will be 
narrated hereafter, she had learned that his 
mother was living, and owned by a man, 
whose name she gave, in Dallas county, Ala- 
bama. She was alive then ! She had not 
died on the fatiguing journey, nor been beaten 
to death by a cruel overseer, nor allowed her- 
self to waste away with grief at her ruthless 
separation from all she loved. He thanked 
God, and wrote to her master, telling him of 
his purpose to redeem her, and asking him 
to name the price at which she would be 
sold. Long he waited for an answer; she 
was doubtless valuable to her owner, and he 
was unwilling to part with her. Again and 
again he wrote, but to be disappointed. 

And now Isaac resolved to leave Missis- 
sippi. He wanted to breathe the free air. 
After various adventures, he at last reached 
the Northern States with his family, and 
finally settled in Detroit, Michigan .* 

*The details of Mr. Williams's life are not given, as 
he intends eventually to publish his own memoirs. 



16 AUNT SALLY. 



CHAPTER II. 



INTRODUCTORY. 



It may gladden the diver's heart to gain, 

From the depths of the Indian sea, 
A pearl as fair as the dew-drops are 

That lie on the summer lea. 
And sweet to the hunter passing through 

The woodland's leafy door, 
May come the song of a timid bird 

That never was heard before; 
And the breath of a flower by the brooklet's side, 

That all unseen till then 
Has opened its buds to the wooing airs 

Of the silent forest glen. 
And blest it may be to the lover's thought, 

To win from the world so cold, 
The bride with her warm and trustful heart, 

In his tender arms to fold. 
But the love for her who gave me birth 

Is richer than ocean mines ; 
I would rather gaze on my mother's face 

Than the purest pearl that shines I 
And list to her songs when day is done 

Than the notes of the rarest bird, — 
More grateful than choicest flowers' perfume, 

Would be every soothing word. 



AUNT SALLY. 17 



And the lover's delight is weak and faint 
To the joy that would fill my breast, 

If far from her sad and ceaseless toil, 
I could bear her away to rest. 

Oh Thou, who dost pity the poor, look down, 
And grant to my life this glorious crown ! 
Years of anxiety and effort and hope de- 
ferred went by. At length, in 1852, Isaao 
received from his mother's master the long- 
desired letter, saying he would sell her to 
him for the sum of four hundred dollars. 
But now that the old trouble was over, a 
new fear tormented the faithful son. Was 
this woman really his mother? More than 
twenty years had passed since they were 
separated, and the only evidence he had of 
her existence was the testimony of her cousin 
in Mobile. Slight foundation it seemed upon 
which to rest so weighty a matter. Might 
it not be merely a plan of her master's to 
lure him into the dominions of slavery and 
punish him for his free spirit ; or else to dis- 
pose probably of an old and useless servant ? 
His heart sickened at the thought. He must 
be sure that he was right before he went 
further, for to be disappointed at last would 
be more than he could bear. So he wrote 
A letter to the master, asking him to put va- 
2 



18 AUNT SALLY. 



rious questions to her, relative to incidents in 
his early life, with which she only was ac- 
quainted. 

If your mother had been lost for twenty 
years, and you hoped to regain her through 
the remembrances of your childhood, how 
would you recall the birthday festival, and 
the prayers for you beside your little bed 
when your head was on her bosom, and the 
twilight walk through the rose-scented lanes 
when she told you a story of her girlish days, 
and that sad morning when, for an outbreak 
of passion, you fell into disgrace with your 
father, and she soothed and calmed you, and 
gently led you back to the path of duty and 
of love ! Isaac was a poor slave boy when 
he knew a mother's care, but servitude can 
not crush out the heart's flowers, and he had 
remembrances which were sweet to him, and 
which he knew would wake a response in her 
heart if living she were. How anxiously did 
he wait for that letter which would be life or 
death to his hopes ! It came at last. His 
questions were more than answered. Taking 
up the incidents as he narrated them, she had 
gone farther and recalled many things which 
he had forgotten, and sent them to him in 



AUNT SALLY. 19 



her simple words with messages of affec- 
tion. 

That night what fervent thanksgiving did 
he send up to heaven for the blessed knowl- 
edge that he had a mother — he who had 
been so friendless in the world ; that she 
loved and trusted him, and perhaps was even 
then supplicating their common Father for 
her distant son. 

He now set about preparing to raise the 
money for her liberation. In March, 1856, 
he left Detroit, stopping wherever he had 
friends, or could make them, and finally 
reached New York in early autumn, having 
some two hundred and fifty dollars collected. 

After a few weeks in the city and vicinity, 
he raised the balance of the amount, and then 
a new difficulty arose. How was the money 
to be transmitted, and his mother broaght 
North? For experience has shown that it is 
a less troublesome and delicate thing to deal 
with Japan, and China, and Algiers, than 
with our Southern States, when it is desired 
to give to any of the colored population their 
birthright of freedom. Various plans were 
proposed and abandoned. At last he wont to 
the office of Adams's Express Company, to see 



20 AUNT SALLY. 



if it could be accomplished through their means. 
They declined doing it directly, but referred 
him to a well-known merchant of New York, 
as one who would advise and assist him, and 
for whom they would willingly undertake the 
matter. This gentleman listened to the story, 
and going to the Bank of the Republic, which 
is very popular at the South, deposited the 
money there, and arranged with the officers 
to have their correspondent in Selma, Ala- 
bama, purchase the woman and see her, with 
the requisite papers, consigned to the care of 
the Express company. 

The burden of care was now taken from 
Isaac ; the responsibility rested upon others. 
He had been buoyant and full of courage 
while active exertion remained, but when 
that was ended and nothing was left for 
him but patient waiting, the very intensity 
of his feelings gave birth to fears, and led 
him to count the chances for her safe release, 
and to brood over every possible disaster. 
She had been lost to him for a score of years, 
and he could have heard of her death at any 
time with comparative resignation, but now 
that she had come back to him in blessed 
resurrection, and the meeting seemed so near, 



AUNT SALLY. 21 



her loss would be like shipwreck to the 
storm-tossed mariner, when just in sight of 
the green fields, and the peaceful spire, and 
the cottage of love for which his heart had 
yearned through all the dreary voyage. Dis- 
turbed and anxious, he went that evening to 
his lodgings, and retiring to rest, was soon lost 
in uneasy slumber. 

And he dreamed. Some of his life-scenes 
passed before him like the moving pictures 
of a panorama, so real that the present was 
forgotten in the past they restored. He saw 
himself a boy, sitting on the dirt-floor of his 
mother's little cabin at Fayetteville, after a 
hard day's work, and pouring his sorrows 
into her sympathizing ear. He had just be- 
gun to realize what it is to be a slave. He 
had been accustomed to play with the mas- 
ter's children, and had had many little privi- 
leges about the house, but now that he was 
old enough to labor, he was kept in the field 
from dawn till dusk, under the eye of an 
overseer who had no leniency for his youth 
nor compassion for his fatigue. The poor 
mother could not point her boy to a brighter 
lot, so she only said, with a sigh, as she drew 
the " hoe-cake" from the ashes for their even- 



22 AUNT SALLY. 



ing meal, "Well, Isaac, you must try and do 
your duty by mas'r, and the Lord Jesus '11 
stand by ye. Near as I can find out, He 
had heaps o' trouble all His days." 

The cabin faded away, and, almost a man 
in years and size, he stood by the " slave- 
pen," bidding her farewell before she went to 
Alabama. With unutterable grief he turned 
to depart, but her faith would not let her go 
without one word of comfort, so she called 
after him, "Keep a good heart, Isaac, and the 
Lord help ye ! Put your trust in Him and 
He'll never leave nor forsake ye. Perhaps 
we shall see each other before we die ! " This 
great anguish passed over, and he was in 
Louisiana, toiling for his freedom. Hundreds 
of dollars had been paid to his master, but 
obstacles were constantly thrown in his way, 
and he was sometimes on the point of rebel- 
lion and despair. But he thought of his 
mother, and seemed to hear her saying, as 
of old, "Be patient; keep on, and the good 
Lord '11 bring it all right one o' dese morn- 
ins." And then he was a free man in De- 
troit, and the pastor of a Methodist church ; 
longing earnestly that his mother might share 
the advantages of his position, and feeling 



AUNT SALLY. 23 



inspired every day to labor by the remem- 
brance of her christian virtues. And then he 
was in the actual present, and the money had 
been sent for her redemption, and he was 
trembling lest after all, the scheme might 
fail, In his dream he cried to heaven, "O 
merciful Father ! shall all her faith and trust 
in Thee be for nought? Wilt thou not re- 
ward the love and service of sixty years ? " 
And then he thought an angel bent over him 
and whispered, " Fear not, thy fidelity and 
hers have been chronicled. Wait a little 
while and thou shalt clasp thy mother in 
ihine arms/' 

He awoke. The sun was shining brightly 
into the room, and having faith now that he 
was soon to meet her, he rose and prepared 
to leave New York for a little while, in order 
to raise the money necessary to defray their 
expenses till they should reach Detroit. 



24 AUNT SALLY. 



CHAPTER III. 

SUNSHINE AND CLOUDS OF CHILDHOOD. 

A child should be a merry thing, 

A butterfly upon the wing ; 

A bee upon a crimson clover, 

With honey-dew half silvered over; 

A crystal brook that 'neath the moon, 

Glides onward through the nights of June; 

A heart' s-ease by a garden wall, 

The loveliest of the lovely all; 

A lark in heavenly circles singing, 

Till the wide air with music 's ringing j 

A sunbeam dancing in and out, 

Reflecting golden joy about; 

Now sparkling like a rainbow braid, 

Now lapsing when it likes to shade ; 

A soft and perfume-scented breeze, 

Full of the tenderest harmonies ; 

Now showering roses from the tree, 

Now opening roses yet to be. 

Ah me ! how few are born to this ! 
How few have felt love's sacred kiss 
Upon their foreheads when they came 
All radiant from the Eternal Flame! 
The birds of song are cold and mute, 
The honey-dew is gone for them, 



AUNT SALLY. 25 



Joy brings them but a broken lute, 
And Life's tree but a flowerless stem. 
Thank God ! there is a brighter world, 
Where every hope shall be unfurled 
In sweet fruition to the air ; 
And all who yearn for love shall there 
Upon the dear Redeemers breast, 
Find perfect love and perfect rest ! 

Having thus far followed the son, let us 
leave him among his Northern friends, and 
return to trace the history of the mother. 

About the year 1796, (a slave's precise age is 
a matter of conjecture,) in a small cabin on a 
plantation not many miles from Fayetteville, 
North Carolina, a little colored girl was born. 
There were no great rejoicings when she came 
into the world. Her parents had been all 
their lives in servitude, and knew no higher 
pleasures than it afforded, but they felt, de- 
spite their ignorance, that their days passed 
wearily, and it was no joy to them to rear 
children for the same fate. No dainty ward- 
robe was ready for her use ; no tiny caps nor 
embroidered dress, nor soft flannel blanket, 
but with her midnight earnings the mother 
had purchased two frocks of cheap print, to 
which her mistress had added one of her own 



26 AUNT SALLY. 



children's cast-off dresses ; and in this coarse 
apparel the little Sally, for so she was called, 
rolled about and stretched her chubby limbs 
as complacently as if she had been enveloped 
in a princess' lace and linen. 

In a few weeks the mother returned to her 
labor in the field, and Sally was placed with 
old "Aunt Katy," woo had charge of all the 
children on the plantation. At night, when 
the tasks were done, her mother took her to 
her own dwelling, returning her in the morn- 
ing to the nurse. So she passed through ba- 
byhood, and grew into a stout little girl, run- 
ning about the cabin and over the grounds, as 
unconscious of her relations to life as the dog 
with which she played, or the bird that sang 
in the old sycamore above the door. No pains 
were taken to develop anything but her animal 
nature — no one taught her to lisp the name 
of God, or to trace His hand in every object 
which surrounded her, or to regard His holy 
law in her daily life. Why should they? 
She was only a piece of property ! Her 
mother, although possessed of more than 
ordinary intelligence and energy, was not 
then a religious woman. In spite of her hard 
labor, she managed to keep her cabin in better 



AUNT SALLY. 27 



order, and her children more comfortably clad 
than most of the other servants ; indeed, so full 
of life and spirit was she, that when the toil- 
some week was over, none enjoyed more highly 
the Saturday-evening dance or the Sunday ho- 
liday. She was a good mother, as far as she 
knew, and trained her children to habits of in- 
dustry and activity. Speaking of those days, 
Aunt Salty said : " I tell you how my mother 
done me — she whipped me when I did n't work 
to please her, but 't was the gloriousest thing !" 
The master required but little work of the 
child. It is policy to leave the slaves to grow 
and strengthen, unfatigued by labor, until they 
are old enough to be constantly occupied, as a 
colt is left unshackled, with free range of the 
pastures, until the "breaking" time comes. 
When about nine years old, Sally began to 
be employed in doing errands for her mis- 
tress, in sweeping the leaves from the walks, 
and in weeding the garden. She was full of 
fun and frolic, but she meant to be a good 
girl, and whenever she was blamed for any 
thing, although she tried to escape the threat- 
ened whipping, yet she was careful not to b< 
guilty of the same offense again. There was 
a little girl, named Mary, about her own age 



28 AUNT SALLY. 



who shared all her tasks. Rare play-fellows 
they were — talking and singing and running 
about together from morning till night. One 
bright day in Sally's tenth summer, Mary 
suddenly sickened and died. So full of life 
when the sun arose — so silent, so motionless, 
when it went down ! It was the first be- 
reavement Sally had ever known, and she 
was almost frantic in her grief. No one told 
her of death's brighter meaning; she saw 
only its sternness and gloom. Throwing her- 
self beside the unconscious child, and sleep- 
ing only at momentary intervals, she con- 
sumed the night in calling upon her name, 
and when morning came, she went to the 
garden, and, gathering the choicest flowers, 
placed them in her hand, as if death were 
an ugly dream which daylight and bloom 
would scare away. So the weary hours went 
by, and when at evening preparations were 
made for the funeral, she begged to be allowed 
to join the procession. How strange and 
solemn it seemed as all the servants of the 
household, bearing lighted torches, walked 
two by two through the forest path to the 
burying-ground, preceded by the preacher, 
singing these dirge-like words — 



AUNT SALLY. 29 



11 Bear her gently, calm and slow, 
To the home where she must go : 
One by one we '11 follow on, 
By and by we '11 all be gone 
Over Jordan. 

"Deep within the pine tree's shade 

Has her quiet grave been made ; 

Sleeping here and sleeping there, 

We shall meet from everywhere 

Over Jordan. 

"Now we leave her to her rest; 
Jesus 1 Savior ! ever blest, 
Take us soon from earth's alarms, 
Safe within Thy sheltering arms 
Over Jordan ! " 

The little coffin was lowered, the earth was 
thrown upon it, and with another wailing 
song the party returned. But Sally did not 
forget. 

It was a balmy day in October. The fervid 
heats of summer were over, and there was a 
refreshing coolness in the air. The garden 
was gay with autumn flowers, and every wafb 
of wind that went over the trees, bore to the 
ground the broad leaves of the sycamore to 
rest upon the myriad needles of the pine. 
In one of the paths stood Sally, broom in 



SO • AUNT SALLY. 



hand, busy in removing them as they fell. 
She looked up and saw, approaching, her 
young master, a handsome youth, elegantly 
attired, and having in his face and manner a 
certain reckless frankness which defied the 
judgment and straightway won the heart. 
Sally's quickness pleased him, and he often 
stopped to exchange a kind word with her. 
"This wind keeps you busy, eh, Sally?" 
" Yes, Mas'r. Don 't more 'n get 'em swept 
away 'fore down they conies agin." 

"Is that what makes you look so sober?" 
"No. Mas'r. I 's thinkin' 'bout Mary, an' 
wonderin whar sh'e is, 'cause the preacher 
said, when they put her in the ground, she 'd 
gone ober Jordan, an' we must all get religion 
an' follow on arter, an' 'pears like I dunno 
'xactly what he meant." 

"Now, Sally, don't you believe any such 
canting nonsense. When we die, that's the 
end of us; there's no hereafter. "Look here," 
— and as he spoke he trod one of the yellow 
sycamore leaves into the earth — "see this 
leaf! In a few days it will be crumbled into 
dust; it's so with us when we die, and that is 
all." 

"But, Mas'r, I thought mebbe we might 



AUNT SALLY. 31 



come up out of the ground sometime, like the 
flowers do in the spring." 

" O, no, Sally, I tell you there 's nothing 
after death. Don't bother yourself with such 
things," and he sauntered down the walk, 
and was soon out of sight under the arching 
trees. Just then a shower of leaves came 
pattering to the earth. Poor Sally sighed as 
she thought of their swift decay, and won- 
dered if "young Mas'r," who was an oracle 
in her eyes, were right, and resolved that at 
least she would take his advice, and trouble 
herself no more about the matter. 

She was now employed to carry every day 
to the field-hands their dinner. It was a long 
walk that she had to take across the pastures, 
with the bread and meat and boiled rice, 
borne in a large wooden bowl upon her head. 
A fence lay in her way, and one day, in 
climbing it, the bowl was upset and the pro- 
visions strewn upon the grass. In a tremor 
of fear she replaced them in the bowl and 
hastened on. Her delay was noticed, and the 
overseer coming up to her, whip in hand, 
demanded its cause. When he discovered 
some grains of sand sticking to the rice, she 
confessed the whole and begged him to for- 



32 AUNT SALLY. 



give her-. But forgiveness was not in his 
heart, He called her careless and lazy, and, 
seizing her by the shoulder, whipped her 
severely. She went home miserable indeed. 
She had nothing to turn to for comfort, and 
her future — 

"It rambled out in endless aisles of mist, 
The farther still the darker." 

Every night she had to sit up late, carding 
rolls for her mother to spin, or spinning her- 
self under her direction. Her only recreation 
was an occasional dance on Saturday evening. 
So in dreary monotony her days went- on. 



AUNT SALLY. 33 



CHAPTER IV. 

THE CAMP MEETING. 

Out in the woods where the violet blows, 
And the south wind opens the climbing rose; 
Where the pale moss hangs from the lofty trees, 
Banner-like, swaying with every breeze; 
Where the fleet deer bounds at the break of day, 
Light through the dewy paths away, 
And the wild bird warbles his sweetest song 
[n the quiet of shadows when eves are \ong ; — 
There, afar from the noisy street, 
Glad will I hasten my God to greet, — 
And breeze and blossom, and bird and tree, 
Gently shall speak of His love to me. 

A.nd then, when the pine trees sob and shiver, 

And cast a gloom on the forest river, 

I'll think of the errors that darken my years, 

And pray for their pardon with bitter tears; 

And when the sun through a vista beams, 

And lightens the dimness with golden gleams, 

My heart shall o'erflow in a song of praise 

To Him who brightens the darkest days ; 

And prayer and song, where the boughs are riven, 

Shall rise through the placid blue to Heaven! 

Could Sally banish from her mind all 
troublesome thoughts and reproaches of con- 
science because her young master had bid 
3 



84 AUNT SALLY. 



her do it? Ah no! Her heari -,7<*« full of 
yearning and dissatisfaction. 

When she was twelve years old she was a 
tall and comely girl, and went regularly to 
labor in the field. The only thing to which 
she looked forward with pleasure, was the 
dance at the close of the week ; and her little 
earnings were parted with to procure now 
and then a bit of finery for this occasion. 
Sometimes she went to the Sunday prayer 
meeting, but was usually so fatigued that she 
slept through most of the services. If an 
alarming word fell upon her ear, and awaken- 
ed uneasy thoughts, she tried to forget it, and 
to persuade herself that she had no cause for 
fear. Bat often, when returning exhausted 
from the field through the dim twilight, with 
the fading sunset glories before her, and the 
songs of happy birds in her ear, she would 
be so weary of the life she lived, and so full 
of vague longing for comfort and peace, that 
she would throw herself upon the ground in 
uncontrollable tears. "Who was to help her? 
An ignorant girl on a lonely plantation, away 
from all exterior influences for good ; obliged 
to toil from morning till night; surrounded 
by those as poor and simple as herself; with 



AUNT SALLY. 35 



the Only educated and refined person who 
ever noticed her, the only one to whom she 
looked up as to a superior being, telling her 
that there was "no hereafter;" that she had 
only to work by day and sleep by night, till 
at last she would drop into the ground and 
crumble to dust like the autumn leaves. Ah ! 
there is One who never slumbers, and the 
poorest and most neglected child is as dear 
to Him as the loftiest king. He who feedeth 
the .young ravens when they cry, and without 
whose notice not a sparrow falls to the ground, 
was even then preparing her for rest and 
joy through knowledge of Him. 

September came, and with it a series of 
camp meetings. There was great joy on the 
plantation when it was announced that one 
was to be held in the immediate vicinity of 
Fayetteville. It was years since such a thing 
had happened, and all the servants had the 
promise of spending a day at least on the 
(amp-ground. As it was only two miles dis- 
tant, it was easy for them to go and come, 
according to the wish of the master. Sally 
was wild with delight. She should see some- 
thing of the great world, whose faint murmur 
sometimes . reached the plantation There 



36 AUNT SALLY. 



would be the handsome carriages which oc- 
casionally drove up to her mistress' door, 
and the fine ladies and gentlemen with their 
servants, from all the country round, and so 
many preachers, and such singing — it was be- 
wildering to think of! 

The important week came with cloudless 
skies. It was arranged that the servants 
should attend the meeting in turn, and Sally 
was not to go until the last day, Friday. Her 
excitement was in no degree lessened by the 
glowing accounts of those who preceded her. 
She could hardly wait for the time to arrive. 
Her calico dress was smoothed, a new ribbon 
was tied over her bonnet, and at five o'clock 
on Thursday afternoon she was ready to start 
with the others, in order to spend the night 
on the ground. How happy she was to have 
a week-time holiday, and to walk so blithe 
and free across the fields ! Beneath this out- 
ward gladness, too, there was an undefined 
hope that she might obtain something to 
satisfy the craving of her nature. With 
snatches of hymns and merry words to her 
companions, she beguiled the way. An occa- 
sional tree obstructed the view, but at length 
she began to hear the faint hum of voices, and 



AUNT SALLY. 37 



soon a quick turn in the path revealed 
the scene. A pleasant pine-grove had been 
chosen for the camp, and the white tents 
gleamed here and there through the dusky 
boughs. The horses and carriages were 
grouped upon the outskirts, and in the 
center many hundreds of men, women, and 
children were gathered round the preacher's 
stand, in the red light of the setting sun. A 
solemn hush was over the assembly, and as 
Sally drew nearer, the wind bore to her ear 
the words of the hymn with which the ser- 
vices were concluding: 

" ! every weary, -wounded soul, 
Come away ; 
'Tis Jesus waits to make you whole, 

Come away. 
His precious blood was freely spilt 
To cleanse you from your dreadful guilt; 
He says, 'I'll save thee if thou wilt, 
Come away. 
" The judgment day is stealing on, 
Come away; 
Your hours of hope will soon be gone, 

Come away. 
With Jesus do you wish to dwell, 
And all his wondrous mercy tell, 
Who saved your soul from burning hell? 
Come away." 



38 ATJNT SALLY. 



The music and the somber pines brought 
back that other evening when she had seen 
her little playmate buried, and the tears 
rolled down her cheeks as she passed through 
the crowd and sought the tent belonging to 
her master. 

The wind sighed all night through the 
trees, and the stars shone overhead. Sally 
lay down to sleep upon the straw floor, sorely 
puzzled to reconcile what she heard about the 
mysterious future. In her dreams, she thought 
her young master died, but came to her again 
in the garden-path, looking wan and wretched, 
and told her, in a voice like the wind in the 
pines, that he had been mistaken; that there 
was a hereafter, and that she must take warn- 
ing by his miserable fate, and prepare to meet 
it. Then she thought she lay calmly on her 
own death-bed, and all who stood around re< 
joiced with her that her toilsome days were 
over, and that she was sinking into the sleep 
from which no master's call could rouse her, 
and from which she never could rise to .pain. 

The sun shone brightly into the tent, and 
she woke. The morning was glorious out 
there in the forest. The birds sang and the 
dew glistened, as they might have done in 



AUNT SALLY. 39 



Eden when the world was ypung. The early 
meal was soon despatched, and the tents put 
in order, for a new preacher was expected, 
and the closing exercises were eagerly antici- 
pated by all. Carriages began to arrive, and 
by ten o'clock a vast congregation had assem- 
bled in the grove. Just in front of the plat- 
form sat Sally, in a seat which she had taken 
pains to secure an hour before. The people 
were becoming impatient, when a murmur 
was heard, and the expected preacher, who 
had ridden hastily from another meeting, 
passed through the crowd and gained the 
stand. He was a tall, slender man, with an 
impetuous manner, and a face which seemed 
to say: 

"Be earnest, earnest, earnest; 
Do what thou dost as if the stake were heavon, 
And that thy last deed ere the judgment day." 

He threw aside his traveling coat, and 
without delay began to sing, in a rich, minor 
voice, these words : 

"Hark! 'tis the trump of judgment 
That God's archangel blows I 
0, sinner! will you hasten 
To Jesus with your woes ? 



40 AUNT SALLY. 



For on this little moment, 

Before the hour of doom, 
Hang endless years of glory, 

Or endless years of gloom. 

"Perhaps you do not hear it, 

Perhaps your heart is cold, 
And earth's enticing pleasures 

Are all that you behold. 
0, sinner! look and listen, 

And loud for mercy cry ; 
For in His sweet compassion 

The Savior passes by." 

There was no heart that was not awed by 
the solemn music, and every head was bowed, 
as the preacher knelt to pray. Sally had 
never heard such a prayer. It was the out- 
pouring of a heart that said — "I will not let 
thee go except thou bless me," me an»d all this 
waiting congregation. It was talking with 
God as friend talks with friend, till Sally 
believed in His existence with her whole soul, 
and expected to see Him appear in the parted 
sky, and answer with audible voice the strong 
petition. When it was ended, the preacher 
rose, and, opening the Bible, read the parable 
of the tares of the field, selecting for his text 
the closing verses : 

"The Son of man shall send forth His an- 



AUNT SALLY. 41 



gels, and they shall gather out of His kingdom 
all things that offend, and them which do ini- 
quity, and shall cast them into a furnace of 
fire; there shall be wailing and gnashing of 
teeth." 

"Then shall the righteous shine forth as 
the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Who 
hath ears to hear, let him hear." 

There was no logical introduction, no dis- 
play of doctrines, but the truth was sent 
straight home to every hearer as if he, and 
the speaker, and God alone were present. In 
simple words, and with imagery drawn from 
the scenes about them, the preacher por- 
trayed their duty and their danger. " This 
morning," said he, " as I was riding through 
the forest, I saw a little bird trembling and 
fluttering in the snare of a serpent. It would 
speedily have been devoured had I not sprung 
from my horse and killed the monster. Ah ! 
thought I, this is just the way the devil snares 
poor sinners. Those of you who are in high 
stations he charms with riches, and honors, 
and worldly ease ; and *o those who are poor, 
and have little to hope for in life, he whispers, 
'You have no need to trouble yourselves 
about doing right; you must take what com- 



42 AUNT SALLY. 



fort you can now, and rely upon happiness 
hereafter;' or else, he tells you, 'You may do 
as you please, for death will end your exist- 
ence.' No matter what he says, you are in 
his power, and he is luring you on to destruc- 
tion, and unless you call to Christ to vanquish 
him with speedy blows, he will swallow you 
up in infinite ruin." 

Sometimes he rose to a higher, wilder strain. 
" Did you ever think what it would be to be 
cast out for ever from God? If it were for a 
million of years, you could endure that; but 
for ever! — that is unbearable. What is hell? 
Why, it is a great burning desert, over which 
the lost wander without shelter, or cooling 
draught, or momentary repose, unable to be 
quiet because of the fires of rage and remorse 
that torment them from within. In the cen- 
ter of this desert there rises a mountain, and 
on it is a huge clock. Once in a thousand 
years it strikes one. and as the mournful 
sound vibrates through the burning air, the 
wretched souls shriek out in echo, Eternit}' 
just begun! Eternity just begun!" 

Having, with rapid gesture and passionate 
utterance, pictured the condition of the sinner, 
he began to speak in gentle tones of "the 



AUNT SALLY. 43 



Lamb of God, who taketh away the sins of 
the world." And he sang: 

"Whose is that voice so kind and sweet, 
That seems my inmost heart to greet? — 
That whispers, ' sinner, come to me, 
And thou shalt rest and glory see' — ■ 
'Tis Jesus. 

"And can the Lord of glory mean 

That I upon his breast may lean? 

Will He, so great beyond compare, 

Help me my heavy load to bear? 

Will Jesus? 

"He will; and when this life is o'er, 
And toil and burdens are no more, 
How gladly from the earth I '11 rise 
To endless bliss in Paradise 
With Jesus." 

Sally had listened with her whole soul to 
the preacher, and now these tender words 
quite overpowered her. Was she not a 
sinner ? Had she not a heavy load to bear ? 
Did she not yearn for sympathy and rest? 
She looked up with streaming eyes and saw 
just before her her young master, who, out of 
idle curiosity, had come to the camp ground. 
In spite of his irreligion, he was momentarily 
affected by the scene. 



44 AUNT SALLY. 



"So you like this, Sally?" 

" O mas'r ! 'pears like it 's what I 's been 
wantin' dis long time." 

" Well, well," he answered, as he turned 
away, "get it if you can." 

There was a fervent prayer that none there 
assembled might be among the lost in the 
Great Day, and then with shouts, and sobs, 
and fervent ejaculations, the meeting broke 
up. 

It was almost dark when the servants 
reached the plantation. In distress and un- 
certainty Sally lay down that night to sleep, 
and, for the first time in her life, tried to pray. 
So guilty did she feel herself, that she would 
not have dared to do it, if that gentle invita- 
tion had not rung in her ears — 

"Sinner, come to me, 
And thou shalt rest and glory see." 

In dreams she lived over the excitements 
of the day. She was aroused in the morning 
by the call to labor, and, bewildered, hurried 
to her plowing in the field. She was not 
the only anxious one. Many of the servants 
were awakened, and the usual merriment was 
hushed. Silently she went her weary rounds. 
She wanted the Savior, but she knew not 



AUNT SALLY. 45 



how to find Him. Would He accept one so 
poor as she? And if He would, was she 
willing to give up all her known sins and 
follies for His sake? She thought she was, 
but she was ignorant, and had no one to guide 
her. She was distracted with her emotions. 
Her brain seemed on fire. Noontime came, 
and she stopped her team by the side of the 
field. The earth seemed to spin around her, 
and losing her consciousness, she fell, as if life- 
less, to the ground. Her companions gathered 
about her, and bore her to the nearest cabin, 
where she lay for two days moveless and 
insensible. On the third day this trance-like 
state passed away, and she revived and was 
herself again. And in her dream she believed 
herself in heaven, and she thought the Lord 
Jesus came to her with the most loving 
words, and told her to be His child, and 
follow his precepts, and He would be with 
her in every trial, and bring her at last to 
His "rest and glory." Then she arose and 
went cheerfully about her accustomed labor, 
feeling that she was no longer friendless and 
alone. 

"So," said Aunt Sally, " dat's de way I 
come through in dis low ground o' sorrow." 



46 AUNT SALLY. 



CHAPTER V. 



THE WEDDING. 



The wind sang soft in the sycamore trees 

As tender and sweet a roundelay. 
As if it had been some heaven-born breeze, 

That out of Eden had crept away. 

And the stars looked down with mildest eyes, 
As if, like the wind so soft and low, 

Their shining had been o'er Paradise, 

Which only the souls of the blessed know. 

No wail rang out on the silent air, 

No groan from the earth beneath their feet, 

But, all unconscious, the hapless pair 
Went forth, the future so dim to meet. 

Sally's real owner was a maiden lady who 
was deaf and dumb. She had nearly a 
hundred slaves, but as she could not boar the 
loneliness of the plantation, she hired them out 
principally to her brother, and spent her time 
in traveling from place to place. Sally's 
mother was now taken to be her waiting- 
maid, and accompanied her wherever she 
went. This was a great grief to Sally, for as 
long as her mother was there, there was 
always a degree of neatness and comfort and 
enjoyment even, in their poor cabin. What 



AUNT SALLY. 47 



household is there out of which the careful, 
provident mother could be taken, and not 
leave need and desolation behind her? The 
mother! why the family happiness centers in 
her; and this poor slave woman, in her 
narrow sphere, was as important as any white 
mother who graces an elegant house, and 
counts her children as her jewels ! Somewhat 
stern she was, rarely talking much with her 
children, but training them to the best of her 
ability in all industry and honesty. Every 
moment she could gain from labor, was spent 
in spinning, and knitting, and sewing to keep 
them decently clothed. Her husband worked 
on a plantation fourteen miles away. Once a 
month he came to see his family. 

"We was allers glad to see father come," 
said Aunt Sally, "cause he brought us 'coons 
an' 'possums, an' we had meat to eat. I 
thought drefful hard o' mother for makin 
me spin nights; but she did n't say nothin' 
• — 'peared like she hep' it all in her head 
One day she says to me, ' Sally,' 'says she, 
'you dun no whar you'll eat your last pound 
o' bread;' but I thought to be sure I kno' 
I shall eat it down in the rice-field." 

JNiow there was no motherly care, and tho 



48 AUNT SALLY. 



children were scattered. Sally would have 
been quite inconsolable, had it not been for 
her new-found trust and hope in the Master 
above. She was very young ; she was very 
ignorant ; she had nothing to help her to un- 
derstand the Gospel; but the Spirit was 
teaching her, and in her poverty and loneli- 
ness she was learning those great life lessons 
which, in one way or another, all must 
apprehend who would enter the Kingdom. 
When she was tempted to do wrong and to 
despair, she thought of her heavenly vision, 
and the Savior again stood near her, and she 
was comforted, and the temptation flew away. 
She was fond of singing, and readily catching 
the hymns which she heard, she lightened 
thus many a toilsome hour. This, which she 
learned from a visitor at " the house," was a 
great favorite in those days : 

"Jesus once was poor and lonely, 

And a manger was His bed ; 
He, the radiant King of Glory, 
Had not where to lay his head. 

♦**Conie,' He says, 'all ye that labor, 
And ye heavy laden, come; 
I to every soul am Neighbor, 
I will give you welcome home.' 



AUNT SALLY. 49 



"Days to me were dark and dreary, 
Lighted only from within; 
Listen, every heart that 's weary, 
I will take away your sin.' 
" ' Fear not ; on this bosom tender 
The disciple found repose; 
If thy love to Me thou 'It render, 
I will banish all thy woes.' 

"Lord! I'll worship and adore Thee, 
Through my darkened earthly day* ; 
And in heaven, at last, before Thee, 
Sing in nobler notes Thy praise." 

A '. lange occurred in the family. The old 
mast-?)'* died, and the slaves were transferred 
to the rule of "young Mas'r Harry," who has 
before been mentioned. A wayward youth, 
he had grown into an intelligent and active, 
but worldly and violent man. Soon after his 
accession to power, he married a lively young 
lady, from one of the aristocratic families in 
the vicinity, and made her mistress of the 
plantation. Sally now went constantly to her 
work in the field, but the lady's quick eye 
observed her, and she soon singled her out 
from the rest as the one upon whom to call 
when she needed any extra service in the 
house. Sally liked the change, and strove to 
please her. 

4 



50 ~ AUNT SALLY. 



Among the servants who worked on a 
distant part of the plantation, was a young 
man named Abram Williams. Sally was now 
thirteen years old, and her mistress deeided 
that she should be married, and that this 
young man should be her husband. Both 
were her property, therefore the only part 
they had to play was to acquiesce in the£ ar- 
rangement. It happened very well in this 
case, but the same power could have been 
employed, had they disliked each ' other. 
What think you of a system which gives such 
unlimited control, not only over the time and 
labor of men and women, but over their most 
sacred affections? Sally had never seen him, 
and knew nothing about the matter, till one 
day, when she was in the house, her mistress 
said — 

"Well, Sally, you 're thirteen years old, and 
I want you to be married. There 's a young 
man over on the plantation who '11 make you 
a good husband. He '11 come here soon, and 
you '11 see him," and then followed an enu- 
meration of his good qualities. 

" Laws, Missis ! " was the only reply Sally 
could make. After that she missed no op- 
portunity to speak of him to the simple- 



AUNT SALLY. 51 



hearted girl, till Sally said, "Tears like 1 
loved him 'fore ever I saw him." True to 
her word, the mistress sent for him. They 
were pleased with each other, as she had 
predicted, and as there was no reason foi 
delaying their union, it was agreed that they 
should be married as soon as the hurry of the 
planting time was over. He was a kind, 
good-hearted man, and Sally was happier 
than she had been for a long time, in feeling 
that she had some one to love who would love 
her. 

One pleasant Saturday afternoon, a few 
weeks after this, was fixed upon for the wed- 
ding. Work was closed early, so that the 
servants might participate in the festivities. 
Sally's scanty wardrobe had been growing 
less in her careful mother's absence, and now 
she had no decent dress for the occasion. Her 
mistress produced from her own stores an old 
white muslin frock, and added to it a bright- 
ribbon for her waist, and a gauze handker- 
chief to tie around her head. Abram was 
equally destitute, and his coarse field dress 
was exchanged for the time for some cast off 
clothes of his master's, which made him look, 
so Sally thought, quite like a gentleman. As 



52 AUNT SALLY. 



a special mark of favor, the ceremony was to 
be performed in the house. The hour came, 
and with their bridemaid and groomsman 
they stood up before the colored Methodist 
preacher who was in waiting. He opened 
the Bible and read the account of the mar- 
riage at Cana. Sally had never heard it 
before, and the thought that Jesus had been 
present at an earthly wedding, impressed her, 
more than anything had ever done, with the 
importance of what she was about to do. JSTo 
one had ever taught her the sacredness of the 
marriage tie. She had heard it jested about, 
and had seen it lightly broken, and so it was 
to her rather an incident of life than one of 
its solemnities. But now an awe crept over 
her; she felt as if God were there, and re- 
solved, in heart, to do all in her power for her 
new-found friend. The reading was followed 
by a prayer, and then they were pronounced 
husband and wife. There was a momentary 
hush in the room. All seemed touched by 
the services save the master, who had conde- 
scended to grace them with his presence, and 
stood leaning in the door-way, with a satirical 
smile upon his face. What were to him the 
words, "whom God hath joined together let 



AUNT SALLY. 53 



no man put asunder?" Did he not know 
that if for any reason he wished to raise a 
sum of money, he should separate them, and 
sell them, with as little feeling as he would a 
horse or a bushel of rice? No wonder he 
smiled and thought it folly! The mistress 
rose, and going up to the young couple, wished 
them much of happiness and prosperity. She 
was followed by all the servants in their turn, 
and when the congratulations were over, she 
led the way to the open air, where a table was 
set upon the lawn. It was ornamented with 
a handsome cake, which she herself had made, 
and adorned with flowers. Sally, as lady of 
the day, was made to sit down and pour coffee 
for the company. "When the repast was ended, 
the lawn was quickly cleared for a dance, in 
which the mistress insisted that the newly 
married pair should take the lead. Sally had 
never danced since the camp-meeting, but they 
all insisted that she would not be properly 
married unless she did so, and she was forced 
to comply. "Dat was de last time I danced," 
said she, in relating it; "'pears like 'twant 
right, noway." 

It was a gay party, and as evening came 
on, Sally's light-heartedness returned, and she 



AUNT SALLY. 



thought she had never been so happy in her 
life. Ah ! could she have looked into the 
future, and seen what deepest griefs would 
come to her through her affections, what 
gloom would have o'ershadowed her marriage 
eve ! The light wind in the trees would have 
changed to a mournful wail, and the stars 
that now seemed to smile, would have gazed 
down upon her with saddest eyes. And the 
birds singing good-night songs in the syca- 
mores above her — the happy birds who could 
choose their mates and live lovingly all the 
summer through without one fear of separa- 
tion, how would their notes have pierced her 
heart, could she but have looked forward ! 

But no "coming event cast its shadow be- 
fore," and in a merry mood the party broke 
up, and the servants sought their cabins. 



AUNT SALLY. 55 



CHAPTER VI. 

A slave's work and a slave's homb. 

In her humble cot, the wife 
Led a toilsome, happy life. 
Busy, blithesome as a bee, 
Not an idle hour had she. 
When the day began to dawn, 
Light and active as a fawn, 
Up she sprang from slumber sweet, 
The ascending sun to greet. 
Hers the task, the pleasant care, 
Simplest viands to prepare, 
And the little ones to guide, 
Nestling fondly at her side. 
Sweet, when toilsome day was over, 
'T was to see the husband-lover 
From his labor home returning, 
Find the cheerful hearth-fire burning; 
And his wife, in comely dress, 
Adding to her loveliness, 
Waiting with the kindest smile 
All his weariness to wile. 
When the last " good-night * was said 
O'er the children's cradle-bed, 
How they talked, the happy pair, 
Of the lot they loved to share! 



56 AUNT SALLY. 



Then, with prayer and heart-felt praise 
To the God who crowned their days, 
Laid them down to hours of slumber, 
Such as angels love to number. 
Pity not a home like this, 
Lowly, yet so rich in bliss. 
Pity those who ne'er can feel 
They are one for woe or weal; 
Who must toil from day to day, 
'Neath a selfish master's sway ; 
And whose only joys arise 
From the home beyond the skies ! 

The Sabbath morning rose clear out of the 
starry night, and with it came the necessity 
of Abram's return to his plantation, in 
order to be ready for Monday's work. Sally 
was distressed at this immediate separation. 
He was much older than herself, and her 
young heart was happy to have something to 
cling to, and to call its own. She prepared 
him the best breakfast in her power from the 
remnants of the wedding table, and then, 
tying a handkerchief over her head, set out 
to accompany him as far as she was able, on 
his homeward way. Hand in hand they 
walked through the dewy fields, trying to 
encourage each other with the hope that 
there would come a time when they should 



AUNT SALLY. 57 



know no separation. The merry birds flew 
singing above them, the early flowers gave 
out their odor, the pines waved their branches 
in the breeze, clad in the fresh green of spring. 
Sally tried to -restrain her tears, but when they 
reached the bounds of her master's plantation, 
beyond which she could not go without special 
permission, they burst forth anew. 

"I know I 's wicked, Abram, but I jest wish 
Mas'r Harry had to go 'way an' leave Missis 
like you leave me; I do ! De white folks ken 
do jest as dey please, why can 't we?" 

"Don't cry, Sally," said kind-hearted 
Abram. " I '11 come back an' see you soon 
as dey '11 let me." 

Sally had thrown herself down beneath the 
shadow of a pine, and sat for some minutes 
quietly. At length she exclaimed : 

"I 's wonderin' if de Lord knows how bad I 
feels dis mornin'. He had such heaps o' trou- 
ble, I specs He 's sorry for us. Come an' kneel 
down, Abram, an' I '11 pray to Him de bes' 
way I ken." 

Together they knelt, and in simple, broken 
words she poured out her heart to Him who 
never slights the humblest cry. A strange 
peace filled her soul, and, rising, she bade her 



58 AUNT SALLY. 



husband a calm farewell. He was awed by 
the prayer, for he knew much less of religion 
than she, and promising to see her on Monday 
night, if possible, he turned away, and was 
soon lost to the gaze amid the somber pines. 

It was high noon when Sally reached home. 
As she walked up the long avenue that led to 
the house, the first object which attracted her 
attention was the carriage of her old mistress 
before the door. Then her mother had come 
— her mother, whom she had not seen for 
months! She ran quickly to the house to see 
if it were so, and was told by one of the ser- 
vants that "Ole Missis" had really returned. 
She had been prevented from reaching home 
the night before by finding one of the bridges 
gone on the road to Fayetteville, and had 
arrived about an hour previous. To Sally's 
eager inquiries for her mother, she answered, 
that, after helping her tired mistress to bed, 
she had left the house. "I specs she 's lookin' 
arter you, Sally ; she took on powerful when 
she heard you 'd done got married." 

Sally hastened to her mother's old cabin, 
which now was hers, and, sure enough, there 
she was sitting on the low bed. She looked 
so neat in her trim waiting-maid's dress, that 



AUNT SALLY. ■ 59 



her daughter, who had approached unper- 
ceived, could not help stopping to regard her 
with admiration. A moment, and she was in 
her arms. 

"Oh, mother, I 's so glad you Ve come." 
"Chile, chile," said the mother, while un- 
wonted tears ran down her cheeks, "what 
have ye done? De Lord knows I'd rather 
have seen ye in yer grave than married. 
S'pose ye thought ye 'd be better off, but 
chile, yer mistaken. Mebbe Abram "Williams 
is a good man, an '11 be kind to ye; but de 
kinder he is, an de more ye loves him, de 
worse ye '11 feel by an' by. Do n't I know ? 
Did n't I love your father better than all de 
world, an' wa'nt he allers kcp' way on de big 
plantation, till now dey say he 's sold to a 
speculator? An' den, when I laid out to take 
some comfort in my chil'n, an' worked so hard 
to take care of 'em, wan't dey all scattered an' 
carried off, de Lord knows whar, an' you only 
left in de ole cabin when I come home? Oh, 
Sally, gettin' married 's de beginnin' o' sor- 
row; my heart aches to think what ye 've got 
to bar ! De white folks ken get married an' 
live happy all der days, but 'pears like dere 's 
no peace for us no whar." 



60 AUNT SALLY. 



"Don't talk so, mother. Abram says he'll 
ask Mas'r to let him come an' live on de place, 
an' den we '11 have good times." 

"ISTo, chile, it's no use. I knows. Dat's 
allers de way. Ole Missis goin' away to-mor- 
row, an' I shall have to leave ye to suffer as 
I 've done." 

Poor mother! poor daughter! Silent they 
sat with their arms around each other, till the 
sycamore trees threw their evening shadows 
across the door. They had no plans to talk 
over, no hopes to impart; for what plans can 
they form who have no independent will? 
and what individual hopes can they cherish 
who exist solely for the benefit of others ? 

Sally's usual light-heartedness was not 
proof against her mother's despair. There 
was nothing in the past to which they cared 
to turn, and the anticipated future weighed 
them down with pain. At length, the gath- 
ering twilight warned the mother that her 
services would be required by her mistress, 
and she rose to go. 

"Good night, chile; I must go now. Missis 
'11 want me, an' I shan't see ye again. Ye '11 
be gone to de field 'fore I ken come down here 
in de morn in'. Do de bes* ye hen, an' tell 



AUNT SALLY. 61 



Abram, yer mother says ye mus' be kind to 
each other while ye live togeder — de Lord 
knows how long dat '11 be ! Try to please 
young Mas'r an' Missis, so 's to put off de evil 
day — but it '11 come, chile, it '11 come, an' ye 
mus' be spectin' on't. 'Bove all, do n't forget 
yer prars, 'cause if de Lord aint yer friend, 
whar '11 ye go?" 

" Oh, mother, I 's allers a prayin' — 'pears 
like it 's de greatest comfort I's got." 

" Well, chile, dat 's right. May de dear 
Lord bless ye ! Far'well." 

At daybreak the next morning, Sally was 
on her way to the rice-field. Her marriage 
had come and gone like any other incident in 
life, and now she must resume her daily toil. 
The hours went by slowly as she dropped the 
rice into the drills, and covered it lightly with 
her hoe. She had little disposition to talk 
with her companions, and had she desired it, 
it would not have been permitted. There was 
a new overseer on the plantation ; a harsh, 
unfeeling man, who restricted the servants 
in every possible way. When the hot noon 
came on, they stopped to take their scanty 
dinner — a small piece of bread and meat, and 
some boiled rice. At a little distance was a 



62 AUNT SALLY. 



spring of clear cold water, to which they had 
been accustomed to go to quench their thirst. 
But now even this was refused, because it 
occupied too much time, and their only drink 
was the water which ran along between the 
ridges of the rice-field. The mid-day meal 
over, in silence they returned to their mono- 
tonous tasks. Had they been free men and 
women, working for themselves and their 
children, with the stimulating hope of better 
fortune, which their labor should achieve, 
they would not have been monotonous; but 
when they could see nothing in the future 
but the same thankless toil, with the liability 
of losing, at any moment, the few domestic 
joys they possessed, it was weary work to 
scatter the grain and handle the hoe. 

In the twilight, fatigued and hopeless, they 
sought their cabins. Abram did not come, as 
Sally had expected, and a week went by 
before she saw him again. "Now," said she, 
"I begun to see de hardes' times I ever see 
any whar in my life." With hard work, 
scanty food, a cruel overseer, an indifferent 
master, and a gay mistress, growing every 
day more careless and forgetful of her de- 
pendents, what chance had she for comfort? 



AUNT SALLY. 63 



A year of hardship passed away, and 
Sally's son Isaac was born. She loved him 
with a mother's tenderness, but not with a 
mother's joy ; for, young as she was, she had 
seen so much of trial and privation that she 
could not regard life to one in her condition 
as a blessing. When she Was able to return 
to her work, she could not bear to leave her 
baby behind her to be neglected, so she tied 
him into her dress, and carried him with her 
to the field. He was a sturdy little fellow, 
and grew apace, in spite of all his disadvan- 
tages. Once a month his father came to see 
him, giving what help and encouragement he 
could to the mother, and bringing her his 
little earnings, to assist her in providing for 
their child. Sprrowfal meetings and partings 
they were, and yet pleasant, because all they 
knew of affection and sympathy was in 
them. 

Two years more, during which nothing 
occurred to vary the dreary round of their 
existence, and another son was born, whom 
they called Daniel. It was the season of the 
year when all the fieldhands were engaged in 
plowing, and when he was three weeks old, 
Sally took her place with the rest. Now she 



64 AUNT SALLY. 



had two children whom she would not leave 
behind, so one was placed securely in her 
bosom, and the other fastened to the skirt of 
her dress, which was rolled up in front to 
make a resting place for him. Thus burden- 
ed, she worked on, never losing her rounds, 
for a mother is a mother every where, in the 
rice fields of Carolina, or amid northern 
snows. It was not unusual for the women to 
take their children to the field, but they were 
accustomed to lay them down upon the grass 
by the fences. Sally would not do this, for 
upon a neighboring plantation a child so left 
had been strangled by a snake, and was 
found quite dead when the work was over. 
How many prayers did Sally send up to 
heaven in these dismal days! Were they not 
registered there? 

The master grew daily more reckless ana 
extravagant for himself, and more indifferent 
to the comfort of his slaves. "He fed us 
mos'ly on skim milk an' Irish potaters," said 
Aunt Sally, "an' peared like sometimes we 
should starve." On one of the adjoining 
plantations there was a kind and liberal 
master who gave his servants plenty or pro- 
visions. There is a strong community of 



AUNT SALLY. 65 



feeling among the slaves, and they are always 
ready to assist those who are less fortunate 
than themselves. Sally knew that she should 
not appeal in vain to her neighbors, so many 
a night after all the household were in bed, 
she would take the horse which she used in 
plowing, and ride stealthily over to their hos- 
pitable cabins, sure always to get some dried 
meat, or a bag of meal, from the generous 
occupants. Then hastening back, in silence 
and watchfulness, she would cook a little for 
herself and her children. In ways like this 
she eked out their scanty fare, always 
anxious, and fearful of being discovered. 

During this miserable time another child 
was born to her, but its little life was soon 
closed; and at evening, after working hours 
were over, it was buried in a rough box out 
among the pines. Sally did not mourn for it ; 
she was glad it had escaped the misery of 
their earthly lot. No stone marked its grave, 
but the mother knew the spot, and sometimes 
stole out there at night to pray. She was 
always comforted, for God seemed near to her 
there, and she fancied the wind in the trees 
above her was singing her child's lullaby, and 
hushing it to sweet repose. 



66 AUNT SALLY. 



CHAPTER VIT. 

A HUSBAND SOLD. 

See! the moon is over the hill; 
Hark! the wind in the trees is still; 
Only the stars shine out on high, 
In the azure depths of the midnight sky. 
The master sleeps in his downy bed, 
And watch and care for a while have fled, 
Wake, my children ! and we '11 away, 
Ere in the. east is the dawn of day. 
"Whither? Alas! I know not whither 
This side of the cold and fatal River ! 
The earth has many a pleasant dell 
Where ye and I might be sheltered well, 
But ne'er secure on the land or sea 
Can the slave from his white pursuers be! 
God of mercy, and truth, and right, 
Guide our steps through the silent night ! 

The' master grew every day more reckless 
in his expenditures, and more unreasonable 
in his demands upon his servants. Among 
the household duties which Sally occasionally 
performed, was that of seeing that the milk 
was properly strained and taken care of. 
One morning her mistress was out of humor, 
and imagining that Sally had not taken 
pains with her work, she complained to her 
husband. 



AUNT SALLY. 67 



"Look here, Sally," said he, "do you put 
the milk in a pan that is n't washed?" 

"Oh, no, mas'r, I takes partikler pains to 
have it clean." 

"Do you mean to contradict your mis- 
tress?" 

" I did n't, mas'r." 

"You did n't, did you? I'll see!" 

Seizing her by the arm, he whipped her 
severely, and at length desisting from very 
weariness, he called out, " Now see if you '11 
tell the truth the next time." 

Half crazed with pain and terror, she crept 
away to the field. She dared not neglect her 
tasks, and all through that wretched day she 
followed the plow, smarting from the blows. 
It was the crisis of her fate. Year after year 
she had suffered on, and now she felt that she 
could endure no longer. With her buoyant 
nature, she would not have despaired could 
she have seen one distant gleam of hope, but 
matters were daily getting worse on the plan- 
tation, and she knew not where to turn for 
light. 

Revolving these things in her mind as she 
went her weary rounds, she came to the des- 
perate resolution of running away, and with 



68 AUNT SALLY. 



uplifted heart, she asked God to pardon her 
if she was wrong, and to help her if she was 
right. Communicating to no one her inten- 
tion, she sought her cabin at the usual hour, 
and procuring her children's supper, eating 
none herself, so oppressed was she by her 
pain, and by the thought of what she was 
about to do. She dared not leave the grounds 
till all was quiet, and while the children slept 
upon the floor, she busied herself in collecting 
their li'ttle clothing, and tying it up in a 
bundle, which she could conveniently carry. 
The early moon was shining in the sky, and 
she must wait till it went down. As she sat 
there in silence, she wondered if she were 
about to commit a sin, for she had been 
trained to such implicit obedience to her 
master, that she hardly dared think of resist- 
ing his will. Suddenly she heard the sound 
of horses' hoofs, and of voices, coming up the 
walk. She remembered that her master had 
ridden over to Fayetteville in the morning, 
and it was his voice, and that of the overseer, 
to which she listened. 

" Here 's that girl, Sally, Mr. Green, you 
must look after her a little. She 's never been 



AUNT SALLY. 69 



fairly broken in yet. I made a beginning, 
this morning. You must train her." 

"Ah! leave me alone for that, sir. I'll 
fetch her up to the mark. I '11 give her a 
bigger task to-morrow, and if she do n't do 
it, she '11 see what she '11 get." 

"The fact is, Mr. Green, I don't care how 
much you get out of 'em. Things are going 
to ruin, and I must make more money in 
some way." 

The voices died away, and with them Sal- 
ly's irresolution. She would go at all risks. 
The moon went down, and all was still. 
Taking the sleeping Daniel in her arms, she 
gently shook the older boy, saying, "Isaac, 
Isaac, wake up chile. Do n't you want to go 
an' see yer father?" He opened his eyes 
at the words, and accustomed to obey his 
mother in all things, took her hand as she 
passed out — out into the night so pure and 
calm, with the holy stars above her, and the 
dewy earth beneath her feet. Abram was 
then at work on a plantation a few miles 
away, and thither she directed her steps. 
Avoiding the roads lest she should be dis- 
covered by some belated traveler, she hur- 
ried on through the fields, keeping, where 



70 AUNT SALLY. 



it was possible, under the deep shadow of 
trees and fences, Now and then the cattle 
stirring in the pastures, or the neigh of a 
horse startled by her footsteps, would make 
her heart beat quick, and she would stop to 
listen; but no harm came to her, and carry- 
ing one, and sometimes both, of the children, 
and hushing their questioning cries, she at 
length reached her destination. Going softly 
up to the door of Abram's cabin, she entered 
and roused him from his heavy slumber. He 
was terrified to see her there with her chil- 
dren, but soon understood wherefore she had 
come. 

"There's no time to lose, Abram. I heerd 
that Aunt Marthy was a-takin' in washin' in 
Fayetteville, an' I know she '11 let me an' de 
chil'n stay with her." 

Breaking in two a piece of hoe-cake which 
she had saved from her supper, she gave it 
to the boys, and rising from the low bed ' ; 
where she had seated herself for a moment, 
she took Daniel again in her arms, saying to 
her husband, "You mus' tote Isaac, Abram, 
he's done tired out, poor chile." 

It was past midnight. Fayetteville was 
four miles distant, and Abram must returc 



AUNT SALLY. 71 



>V his mornipg's work, so they hurried on. 
fie knew the road, and as it passed through 
h quiet neighborhood, he was not afraid to 
Keep it. They talked little, for fear of being 
■»n some way overheard, but arranged that 
Sally and the boys should keep hid for a 
while with "Aunt Marthy," and that Abram 
should see them as often as possible. Sally 
knew not what was before her, but in spite 
of the haste and the danger, it was delightful 
to be walking so far from the plantation and 
away from the overseer's eye. Stiff and sore 
Prom the whipping she had received, her 
heart was yet lighter than it had been for 
many a day. The dawn had not yet begun 
to glimmer in the east when they reached the 
town and sought the narrow street and hum- 
Die cottage of "Aunt Marthy." A good old 
creature she was ; owned by a man in Fay- 
«itteville, but hiring her time and supporting 
herself and her children by washing. She 
received Sally with open arms, without man- 
ifesting much surprise at her appearance. She 
aad had the experience of many years, and 
she knew too well the chances and changes 
in the life of a slave to be astonished by 
;hem. " Laws, chile, I 's been through it 



72 AUNT SALLY. 



all, an' I knows ye can't bear it unless ye 
loves de Lord." 

While it was yet dark Abram bid them 
good-bye and hastened away. It was now 
October, and from this time until New Year's, 
she lived quietly with Marthy, assisting her 
daily toil. The boys were so young that 
they would hardly be recognized, so they 
played about the street with the other chil* 
dren, but Sally never went out except at 
night; and then cautiously, and for short dis- 
tances. During this time Abram was sold on 
to a plantation near Fayetteville, and he often 
stole in at evening to see his wife. He took 
pains to hear about her master, and learned 
from one of the servants that he was fearfully 
angry when he found Sally had gone, and 
threatened to kill her if he ever saw her 
again ; also, that his slaves were not to work 
at home any more, but were all to be hired 
out at New Year's. Sally knew she could 
not long remain undetected where she was, 
and believing that her master would not touch 
her on account of his own interest, she re- 
solved to go boldly when the day came and 
hire herself out with the rest. 

The important morning arrived, and Sally 



AUNT SALLY. 73 



took her children and went out to a field on 
the old plantation where she had heard the 
business of the day would be transacted. 
What fervent prayers did her heart send up 
as she walked along ! She believed they were 
heard, and her step was firmer and her cour- 
age stronger as she reached the ground. Her 
old companions were already assembled there, 
and a crowd of the neighboring planters were 
standing about, talking of the price and capa- 
city of those they wished to secure. Among 
them was her master. He saw her, and mut- 
tering something between his teeth, appeared 
as if he would confront her as she advanced, 
but the gentleman with whom he was speak- 
ing, said something in a dissuasive voice, and 
he turned away. Sally's heart was full of 
thanksgiving as she took her place with the 
rest. She believed the Lord was with her as 
he was with Daniel in the lion's den. The 
sales went on, and her turn at last arriving, 
she was hired by a citizen of Fayetteville, an 
easy, compassionate man, who had heard of 
the unjust treatment she had received. A 
new hope dawned upon her. Perhaps he 
would let her hire her time as her aunt did. 
She ventured to propose it to him, and he 



74 AUNT SALLY. 



agreed that for six dollars a month, regularly 
paid to him, she should be her own mistress, 
and do what she pleased. The moment that 
she was free to act for herself, with what 
spirit and energy did she take hold of life. 
She had always had a natural fondness and 
aptitude for cooking, and now she resolved to 
rent a small house, and commence the sale of 
cakes and beer of her own baking and brew- 
ing. Before a week had passed she had rented 
a little tenement of two rooms, and having 
procured a barrel of flour and other necessa- 
ries in advance, she was ready to sell to any 
one who would patronize her humble store. 
Her children were both with her at first. 
When she had time, she took in washing, and 
then she accustomed them to help her to beat 
the clothes. In a month she had not only 
paid for the flour, but she had also given to 
her new master the first installment of hire- 
money. Very judiciously she made her small 
purchases. She would watch the market- 
wagons as they came in from the country, 
and often buy her provisions to great advan- 
tage. Every morning she carried a gallon of 
hot coffee to the market for sale. The gen- 
tlemen soon learned to know her, and would 






AUNT SALLY. 75 



buy a cup, sometimes throwing her fifty cents 
in return. She had never dreamed of having 
so much money as she now earned. She 
bought comfortable clothes for herself and 
her children, and obtained, from time to time, 
little articles of furniture for her house. And 
when, at the end of the year the same ar- 
rangement was made with her master for a 
much longer time, her heart overflowed with 
gratitude to God, and she resolved more and 
more to dedicate herself to Him. What was 
it that made her so happy? The privilege of 
working every moment for the support of 
herself and her children, and of paying out 
of her earnings six dollars every month to 
her master ? Yerily happiness is not absolute, 
but relative, in this world. 

Abram still worked in the vicinity, and 
often came to see her and the children. He 
was a kind and affectionate man, but he had 
not Sally's strength of character and firm- 
ness of principle, and he was easily led astray. 
He had lately fallen into a habit of gambling, 
at which she was exceedingly distressed and 
alarmed. She knew from young " Mas'r Har- 
ry," the ruin to which it led, and while she 
begged him to abandon it, she loved him so 



76 AUNT SALLY. 



well that she would sometimes give him 
money when he came and told her of hia 
losses. At length his master discovered his 
visits to the gambling-room. He was not 
grieved at his sin, but angry at his disobe- 
dience; and, going to Sally, in a dreadful rage, 
he told her that, if her husband ever gambled 
again, he would put him into jail, and he 
never should come out from there as his ser- 
vant. This frightened Abram, and for a yeai 
he kept away. But one night the old tempta- 
tion returned again, and he went. His mastei 
heard of it, and threw him into jail the fol 
lowing day, as he had threatened. Sending 
for Sally, he told her what he had done, and 
that he should sell him to New Orleans. 

" Oh, Mas'r, de Lord bless ye, won't ye try 
him once more? He was allers such a good 
man, an' so kind to me an' the chil'n ! " 

"Now, Sally, you may just stop your cry- 
ing around here, for as sure as there 's a God 
in heaven, he never shall come out mine." 

There was no hope, then. He must be sold, 
and selling to New Orleans was to her like 
death. How many whom she had known had 
gone the same way and never been heard of 



AUNT SALLY. 77 



more! She would rather have seen him in 
his coffin. 

It was late when she reached home, too 
late to go to the jail, and the night must wear 
away in prayers and tears. She was up with 
the dawn, and baking some fresh biscuit, and 
making a pot of her nicest coffee, she took 
them to the jail, and sat down upon the stone 
steps until the doors should be opened. Her 
mother's words came to her mind, and she 
wept bitterly. . Her " evil day" had indeed 
come. The passers by looked coldly upon 
her. It was a common thing to see poor 
slave-women sitting, in tears, upon the steps 
of the jail. At length she was admitted. 
Abram was quite overcome, when he saw 
her, with remorse for his fault and grief at 
their separation. For they had loved each 
other, even as people do whose faces are fair ! 
Sally strove with her stronger heart to sus- 
tain him and to lift his thoughts to God. But 
sorrow would have its way, and from nine 
o'clock till one, they sat weeping and holding 
each other's hands, as if it were indeed the 
death hour. At length the rude voice of the 
jailer was heard ordering her away. They 



78 AUNT SALLY. 



clasped each other convulsively for a moment, 
but the husband could not speak. Amid her 
sobs, Sally exclaimed, 

" Oh, Abram, far'well ! Eemember de L( rd ! 
Eemember de Lord! I shall pray for ye, ye 
poor soul ! Far'well, far'well ! " 



CHAPTER VIII. 

A NEW HUSBAND CHILDREN SOLD. 

On the brink of a flowery meadow, 

A lamb by its mother lay, 
All in the golden sunshine 

Sleeping the noon away. 
• 
The mother watches her darling, 

And opens her half-shut eye, 
"When over the flowery meadow 
The wind goes whispering by. 

What moves in the trees behind them? 

'T is a wolf, all gaunt and grim ! 
He longs to tear in his hungry jaws 

The lamb from limb to limb. 

One spring, and his prey he seizes, 

And into the wood so cold, 
With savage delight he bears it 

Away from the shepherd's fold. 



AUNT SALLY. 79 



And the mother may watch by the forest 
Till the meadow is white with snow, 

But never from out its shadow 
Her darling again will go ! 

" Oh," said Aunt Sally, " dat was de dreffulest 
hour I ever see in my life, when I turned my 
back on de jail. Teared like dere want no- 
thin lef in de world, an' when I tried to pray, 
dere want no God to hear me. I did n't mind 
my work dat day, but jest lay on de bed, cry- 
in' an' groanin' as if my heart would break, 
an' wishin' we was all dead an' out o' trouble. 
De chil'n, poor things, tried to comfort me, 
but I thought, to be sure, dere 's no comfort for 
me when dey sold my husband ! 

"By-an'-by, when it was dark, Aunt Mar- 
thy cum to see me. She heerd dat Abram 
was sold, an' she know'd well enough how 
bad I 'd feel. Wal, she sot down on de bed, 
an' ses she, ' Sally, I 's cum to pray wid ye, 
'cause I know it 's de only thing dat '11 do 
ye any good.' I thought to myself, dere's no 
use a prayin'. Did n't I beg de Lord to let 
my husband stay, an' want he sold all de 
same as if I had n't asked him ? But I did 'nt 
speak, an' so she knelt down an' begun. At 
first I did 'nt pay no 'tention to what she said, 



80 AUNT SALLY. 



but she kep' on, an 'peared as like Lord 
Jesus was right in de room, an' she was 
talkin' to Him. She told Him how 'flicted I 
was, an' how I was almos' discouraged, an' 
begged Him to stan' by me, an' to be better 
to me dan de best husband in de world. All 
at once I thought p'r'aps dis was de cross I'd 
got to carry for Jesus, an' den 'peared like a 
great burden rolled off my heart, an' I could 
see my way clear through to heaven. Instead 
o' grievin', I wanted to praise de Lord for His 
mercy. Dere want no trouble any more ; only 
de Lord, de Lord everywhar. When she 'd 
done prayin' I got up an' begun to sing dis 
hymn. I 'd often sung it afore in de meetins, 
but I never know'd what it meant till den : 

" 'If there's a heavy cross to bear, 
Oh, Jesus ! Master ! show me where ! 
And all for tender love of Thee, 
I '11 bear it till it makes me free. 

" ' Free from the faults I long have known ; 
Free from the sins I dare not own ; 
Free from each care the world has given, 
To keep my soul from Thee and heaven. 

" ' And when I reach that glorious place, 
And gaze with rapture on Thy face, 
Dear Jesus ! every cross shall be 
A crown of joy for Thee and me! " 



AUNT SALLY. 81 



The next morning Sail/ resumed her usual 
duties, and was to be seen in market and at 
home attending to her customers. The ec- 
stacy of the evening was gone, but something 
of "the peace of God, which passeth all un- 
derstanding," remained. She could not think 
of her husband without tears, and for six 
months her health suffered from the shock 
she had received, yet Jesus seemed nearer to 
her than ever before, and she was consoled 
by the thought that He was a friend on whom 
she could rely, at morning and noon and 
evening. That sale was truly like death, for 
she never saw or heard from Abram again. 
When Isaac was twelve years old, he would 
have been taken from her and put to service, 
but he was such a comfort to her, and daily 
grew so helpful, that she could not bear to 
part with him, so for two dollars a month she 
hired him for two years of his master. Her 
kind Fayetteville master was pleased with 
him, because he was so bright and active, and 
offered to teach him to read if his mother 
would purchase the necessary books. Thin 
she gladly did, and as he learned rapidly, 
(albeit there was no white blood in his veins,) 

she soon had the delight of hearing the Bible 
"6 



82 AUNT SALLY. 



read by her son. It was the highest pleasure 
she had ever known, to sit down with him in 
her neat little room, when the work of the 
day was over, and hear some chapter from 
the life of Christ, or some thrilling Old Testa 
nient story. One night, when he had been 
reading to her, slowly and carefully, for half 
an hour, she suddenly exclaimed, 

"Laws, Isaac, I never 'spected to see de 
like o' dis — to hear you readin de Bible like 
de white folks. 'Pears like de Lord 's been 
so good to ye, I hopes ye '11 do all ye ken to. 
serve Him." 

" I 's been thinkin' o' dat dis long time, 
mother; I b'lieve de Lord's got something 
for me to do." 

" Yes, chile, we 's all got something to do, 
an' we must be willin' to do whatever de Lord 
gives us. I 's laid awake many a night, 
thinkin o' dis yer thing, an' prayin' de Lord 
to help me. When yer father was sold, I 
thought der want nothin' more for me, but 
de Lord He brought me through, an' I's 
made up my mind, 'taint no use calcuiatin' 
what He'll do. We mus' try to do right 
whai he puts us, an' den, if we 's prepared 
for a better place, ho '11 show it to us. 1 



AUNT SALLY. 83 



specs ye '11 be a poor slave all yer days, 
Isaac, but if de blessed Jesus is yer master, 
an' ye bar de cross for his sake, He '11 make 
ye free at last in de Kingdom ! " 

The tears stood in the boy's eyes as he 
listened to his mother's words, and he resolved 
in his heart to do the best he could in life, 
and to trust the Lord for all. 

When Abram had been gone four years, 
Sally's master began to look for another hus- 
band to fill his place. Sally had seen mar- 
riages so lightly made and broken, that it 
was to her a matter of course. Her respect- 
ability and thrift had procured her many 
admirers, and as her master deigned to con- 
sult her on the subject, she chose from among 
them a free colored man named Eeggs, be- 
cause she thought he could never be sold 
away from her. He bore a very good charac- 
ter, excepting that he was somewhat addicted 
to intemperance, but he rarely became intoxi- 
cated, or treated her with anything but kind- 
ness. He worked at his trade in town, and 
Sally continued her sale of cakes and beer. 
She did not love him as she had done her 
first husband, yet they lived quietly together, 
and, on the whole, happily. Isaac and Daniel 



84 AUNT SALLY. 



were now away with separate masters, and 
Sally would have missed them exceedingly 
had not their places been partly supplied by 
the birth of a little boy, whom she called 
Lewis. Other children she had who died in 
their infancy, so that this little fellow, who 
was sprightly and affectionate, was doubly 
dear to her. She was now living in compara- 
tive ease and independence. Little by little 
she had added necessary articles of furniture 
to her house, and of dress to her wardrobe. 
Her two rooms, with the porch adjoining, 
were always neat and in order. Her baking 
and washing were dispatched in the morning, 
and then, with clean apron, and nicely folded 
handkerchief about her head, she was ready 
to attend to her customers, or to do any little 
job of sewing which she had taken in, for to 
her knowledge of cooking and housework she 
added no small skill as a dressmaker. She 
was able now to hire a girl to help her in the 
house, and when it became known how good 
a seamstress she was, she had much work 
brought her by the ladies in the vicinity. In 
her prosperity Sally did not forget the Lord, 
Most fervently did she thank Him every day 
for His mercy. Naturally hopeful and buoy- 



AUNT SALLY. 85 



ant, she enjoyed the happy present, without 
daring or wishing to anticipate* the future. 
She went regularly to church on the Sabbath, 
persuading her husband, when he could, to 
accompany her; and when Isaac and Daniel 
were permitted to visit her and to go with 
her also to the meeting, her heart overflowed 
with thankfulness to Grod. Sometimes they 
were allowed to go home with her to spend 
the Sabbath evening. This was indeed de- 
lightful. They must all go into the best 
room, which was her pride, with its high 
feather bed, covered with a bright patch- 
work quilt, its rocking-chair, its little table 
by the window, with the glass hanging above 
it, and its chest of drawers, which contained 
all the best articles of the family attire. Then 
she would bring out a plate of her choicest 
cakes, and treat them each to a cup of coffee, 
or a mug of her own innocent beer. These 
joyful evenings were always concluded by 
Isaac's reading a chapter in the Bible, and his 
mother's offering up a grateful prayer. 

It would be pleasant to -pause over this 
happy time in Sally's life; this little gleam 
of sunshine in her stormy sky, but events 
hurried on, and our narrative mxm ollow. 



86 AUNT SALLY. 



Sally's old mistress on the plantation had 
been gradually declining in health for years, 
and now news came that she was dead. Her 
slaves were divided between her brothers and 
their children, and Sally and her sons fell to 
one of the nephews, a dissipated young man, 
who had wasted all his property, and had 
been waiting impatiently for his old aunt's 
death, that he might receive his portion of 
her estate. He wanted to convert some of 
his share into ready money, so Isaac and 
Daniel and Lewis were taken and sold in 
Fayetteville at a public auction. Daniel was 
bought by a planter far up the country; 
Isaac, by a gentleman who lived a little way 
out of the town ; and Lewis, poor little Lewis, 
his mother's darling, with his merry face and 
sportive ways, — a speculator from Alabama, 
saw him, and purchased him to go with a 
"lot" he had in waiting, to that seemingly 
distant and unknown land. Sally's grief was 
great at parting from Daniel, whom she might 
never see again, for, although not so intel 1 '- 
gent as her older son, he had always bee;* 
affectionate and obedient to her. She took 
leave of Isaac with more hope, for he was not 
to bo so far removed- but when it came to 



AUNT SALLY. 87 



Lewis, who was immediately placed in his 
purchaser's traveling wagon, she was broken 
down with anguish. The curse of servitude 
was upon her, although she had married a 
free man. She was still a slave, and her 
children were slaves, and only death could 
free them. Her distress was increased by the 
rage and despair of her husband, for he was 
as fond a father as she was a mother. She 
saw the money paid down for her boy; she 
heard him calling good-by to her out of the 
cart, and, half frantic, she ran to him, and 
catching him in her arms, held him tightly, 
as if they could never be parted. He was 
only three years old, just learning to talk, 
and every hour developing some new charm 
in his mother's eyes. He did not understand 
her grief, and she would not sadden his little 
heart by telling him he would never see her 
more. Pleased at the prospect of a ride in 
a wagon, he laughed and danced about, un- 
conscious of fear or sorrow. Sally gave him 
a little ginger-cake, saying, as she put it into 
his hand, " Now, Lewis, break it in two, an' 
give mammy a piece." 

"No," said he, "didn't ye jes' gin it to 
mo?" The poor mother burst into tears, and 



88 AUNT SALLY. 



the child, thinking it was all because she 
wanted the cake, exclaimed, "Here, mammy, 
I will gin ye a piece,"' and then her husband 
came and took her away. With streaming 
eyes she watched the wagon till it disappeared, 
and then, as she turned homeward, if she had 
been familiar with the Scriptures, she would 
have cried out in anguish, "All Thy waves 
and Thy billows are gone over me." 



CHAPTER IX. 

THE HOME DESOLATE THE MOTHER SOLD TOO. 

The house is desolate and lone, 

My precious boy, now thou art gone. 

I look upon thy empty bed, 

And every joy from me hast fled ; . 

I watch to hear thee on the stair, 

But all is still — thou art not there ; 

And then my heavy heart sinks down, 

And sees the cross, but not the crown. 

I should be glad, my boy, to die 
Beneath this Carolina sky; 
Yet oft I fear my fate will be * 

O'er hill and plain to follow thee. 
God help me ! help us every one, 
Through the dear love of Christ his Son I 



AUNT SALLY. 89 



It was almost dark when Sally reached her 
own door. Her husband had left her on the 
way, and gone into a low drinking saloon, to 
drown his grief and anger in intoxication. 
Some of her neighbors and acquaintances 
were waiting for her return, and, going into 
the house with her, tried to cheer her heart. 
But what can comfort a mother when she is 
bereft of her children ? If your three only 
boys should be stolen from you in one day, 
without hope of recovery, could any earthly 
friend console you? Sally's sons were as 
much to her as yours are to you, and the 
words of her visitors fell unheeded upon her 
ear. At length, seeing that their efforts were 
of no avail, they went out silently, and she 
was left alone. Alone ! Yes, it was such 
loneliness as only they can understand, who 
have had a similar trial. For a while, she 
sat immovable, and, as if stupefied by her 
grief, and then she arose, and opening her 
little bureau, began to look over the clothes 
that had belonged to Lewis; every article of 
which she had labored har^yjo procure, and 
had fitted and made for hinr with a mother's 
pride and pleasure. The little frocks and 
aprons were taken up and laid aside again, 



90 AUNT SALLY. 



but when she came to the tiny cap, with the 
jaunty tassel upon one side, in which he had 
looked so smart the Sunday before, and saw 
lying beneath it Isaac's precious Bible, which 
was always in her keeping, and a new shirt, 
partly finished, which she had intended as a 
present to Daniel, she burst into tears, and, 
shutting the drawer, threw herself in agony 
upon the bed. She tried to pray, but she 
could only exclaim, amid her sobs, "Oh, 
Lord, remember Lewis ! Dear Lord, take 
care o' my poor chil'n ! " 

At length she fell asleep. And in her 
dreams she thought she followed the wagon 
which contained her child, on and on, over 
plains and through forests, he all the while 
laughing and clapping his hands, till at length 
night overtook them, and the driver called 
out to her that she must return. And as, 
with a last despairing look, she began to 
retrace her steps, she thought her little Lewis 
became suddenly conscious that she was leav- 
ing him, and screamed out, " Oh, mammy, 
take me, take me ! " She would have rushed 
to him and borne him off in her arms, but 
his purchaser caught him fiercely back, and 
putting his hand over his mouth to stop his 



AUNT SALLY. 91 



cries, drove on faster throigh the black con- 
cealing pines. She awoks in terror, which 
was succeeded by joy, at finding it was only 
a dream. Lewis had always slept in a little 
trundle bed at her side, and, for the moment, 
forgetting what had happened, and wishing 
to re-assure herself, she called out, in the 
manner she was wont to awaken him, " Lewis I 
Lewis ! " But the room was dark and still ; 
and then the truth, more terrible than any 
dream, flashed upon her mind, and she sank 
down in hopeless grief upon the bed. 

But the morning stays not for any sorrow, 
and with its coming Sally roused herself to 
attend to her work, for the girl whom she 
had hired to help her was away for a few 
days, and this was one of her busiest seasons. 
She went about her tasks mechanically, for, 
to her mother's heart, the incitement to labor 
was at an end when there was no one to be 
benefited but herself. Weeks went by, dur- 
ing which she went her daily rounds in a kind 
of stupor, and of which afterward she could 
remember nothing. Her flesh wasted away, 
and her step, which was once so elastic, grew 
slow and heavy. She would often go to the 
drawer and take out Isaac's Bible, and weep 



92 AUNT SALLY. 



over it, and wish she could read its comfort- 
ing words, but it was a sealed book to her, 
and carefully she would return it to its place. 
She knew many verses by heart, and these 
she would often repeat to herself. Among 
these was, "Come unto me all ye that labor 
and are heavy laden, and I will give you 
rest." Yes, she would say, " Dat 's what I 
wants, Lord — rest; I's allers been seekin' for 
it, but, Lord, I can't find it." Yet in. one 
way she did find rest. She had received into 
her inmost heart by a living faith, the story of 
Christ's sufferings and death, and she felt that, 
in some way, every trial she had, if borne for 
His sake, brought her nearer to Him and 
heaven. Losing his son had made her hus- 
band reckless and neglectful of his business, 
and more and more given to intemperate 
habits. This would have seemed to her a 
great affliction, had she not had a greater one 
constantly to bear. Another trial she had, 
too, in the jealousy of her neighbors, both 
blacks and whites. It was rare for a slave 
woman to be so wel] situated to show what 
she could do for herself as Sally was. The 
constant increase of her customers, and her 
popularity with them, her tidy house, her 



AUNT SALLY. 93 



neat dress, and her self-relying, independent 
manner, called forth many envious and ma- 
licious remarks. Often, at the market, she 
would hear such things as this from the white 
people around her: "Wonder if Sally's mas- 
ter 's always going to let her live in this way. 
She 's getting altogether too smart for a 
nigger. We shan't know who 's to rule by- 
and-by." These unkind words went to her 
heart, but she took no outward notice of them, 
thinking it wisest to keep on her quiet way. 
Sometimes the bitter thought would come into 
her mind, "Why should I lose husband and 
children, and be blamed and disliked for my 
honest efforts to earn a comfortable living?" 
And then she would still such repinings, and 
say, " It 's de cross de Lord lays upon me, 
an' I '11 bar it for His sake." 

One morning, some four months after Lewis 
was taken from her, as she was busy in the 
market, some one called out to her — ■ 

"Eh, Sally, is that you ! " 

She turned quickly round, and saw, in the 
rough-looking man before her, the purchaser 
of Lewis. 

"That boy, Lewis, that I took out in the 
last lot, belonged to you, did n't he ? " 



94 AUNT SALLY. 



Eagerly she answered — "Yes, mas'r, he's 
de youngest of my chil'en. Mebbe ye '11 tell 
me whar he is?" 

" Wal, he 's down in Claiborne, on the Ala- 
bama river. There was a gentleman there 
took a mighty fancy to him, and paid a big 
price for him, that he did. He 's a smart 
little chap. Should n't a minded keeping him 
myself." 

"He loved his mammy so, mas'r! Didn't 
he take on when it come night?" 

" In course he did. Such young uns allers 
do. It's nat'ral, you know. He screamed 
and cried for two or three nights, and I said 
nothing, 'cause you see, I thought he 'd get 
over it himself. But he did n't, and at last 
I got tired of it, you know, and I just took 
him and give him a sound whipping, and ho 
was still as a mouse all the rest of the way. 
That 's the way to manage children." 

" Oh, Lord ! " was all Sally could say. 

"Wal, aft I was going on to tell you, I come 
through Claiborne on my way back here after 
another lot; prime ones, too, some on 'em is; 
first rate bargains ; and as I passed by the 
gentleman's house, there I saw Lewis, with 
half a dozen other young uns, playing about 



AUNT SALLY. 95 



the yard. I stopped my horse, and called out 
to him, ' Lewis ! Lewis ! ' Then he ran down 
the walk, and, says I, ' I'm going back to Fay- 
etteville, where your mammy lives; what shall 
I tell her ? ' He know'd me well enough, and 
he thought a minute, and then, says he, ' Tell 
her to send me some cakes;' and I promised 
him I would. Ef I was in your place, too, 
I 'd send him some clothes. He looked kind 
o' ragged/' 

" When are ye gwine back, mas'r ? " 

u Wal, I reckon about the first o' the week. 
One of my gals has run away, and I do n't 
mean to start 'till I get her. Strange they 
can't take it peaceable like, and not give folks 
so much trouble. So you jest fix up your 
bundle, and leave it down to Miller's store, 
and, if 't aint too large, I '11 take it." 

"Thank'ee mas'r, thank'ee," said Sally, 
"p'raps ye '11 have a drink o' coffee," and 
she handed him a smoking bowl full, which 
he swallowed with great satisfaction. 

" La, now," said he, " that 's the real article. 
I 'm sorry you lost your boy, but then we 
must expect such things in this world of trial," 
and with this comforting reflection which the 
steaming coffee had inspired, he wiped his 



'96 AUNT SALLY. 



mouth with his yellow silk handkerchief, and 
passed on. 

It was now Saturday morning, and when 
her duties were over, Sally hastened home, 
and, making a small bag of strong calico, she 
filled it with Lewis' favorite hard ginger- 
cakes and crackers. Then, going to the 
drawer which contained his clothes, she took 
out article after article, and folding them, laid 
them together, till she came to the pretty cap, 
over which she hesitated, saying, " I specs 
he '11 never go to meetin' ; dere 's no use 
sendin' it ; but in a moment she exclaimed, 
"Yes, I will. Ley shall see how well off he 
was when his mammy had him." So they 
were all tied up together in a neat parcel, 
and taken to the appointed place, Sally only 
reserving for herself, as a memento, the little 
torn apron he had worn the morning before 
he went away. When she entered the store, 
the speculator himself chanced to be there, 
and, giving him the bundle, she said, "Will 
you please to tell Lewis his mammy says he 
mus' be a good boy, an' not grieve for her ? " 

" Oh, you need n't trouble yourself to send 
that message. "S'pose he's forgot by this 
time that he ever had a mother." A low 



AUNT SALLY. . 97 



groan was Sally's only answer as she turned 
away. 

Sally now began to wonder that she was 
left so long undisturbed by her new master, 
whom she knew to be extravagant and reck- 
less. A fear sometimes entered her heart that 
she might be suddenly seized and sold as her 
children had been, but she tried to be hopeful, 
and to banish it for the sake of her husband. 
Alas ! her fears were not unfounded. 

One morning, about a year after Lewis was 
sold, she had been to market as usual, and had 
purchased a barrel of flour, which was stand- 
ing outside of the door. Two gentlemen 
entered, and the girl who helped her being 
busy, and supposing they wished to buy 
cakes, called to her in the best room to come 
and wait on them. She went out quickly, 
but as they were looking about without speak- 
ing, she took a chair and sat down, waiting 
for their orders. At length one of them got 
up and began to walk around. An undefined 
terror seized her. Was she sold ? Suddenly 
he stopped before her, and looking her full iu 
the face, said — 

" Sally, your We mine." 

" Oh, Lord ! whar do ye live?" 



98 AUNT SALLY. 



"I live down in Alabama." 

"Oh, then," said Salty, "I couldn't cry. 
'Peared like I was stunned, an' the life died 
out o' me. I did jes' as he told me without 
savin' a word. 'You must come along now,' 
said he, ' and I '11 see about your things after- 
ward.' So he took hold o' my arm an' led 
me to the door, an' I walked along with him 
like I was in a dream, till we got to de slave- 
pen, an' den he pushed me in, an' locked me 
up wid de rest." 



CHAPTER X. 

THE SLAVE-PEN. 
It is not dying that I fear ; 

Lord ! it were sweet to die, 
And safe from all that wounds me here, 

Within thine arms to lie. 
But ! 'tis living that I dread, 

When friends and love are gone, 
And not a star is overhead 

To shine my night upon. 

And yet, if thou would 'st have me live, 
My Master and my Friend, 

Unmurmuring days to Thoe I'll give, 
For thou the cross dost send. 



AUNT SALLY. 99 



As the door closed upon her purchaser, and 
the terrible reality of her fate burst upon her, 
Sally's unnatural calmness deserted her. and 
she sank to the ground in a swoon. The 
slave-pen was an enclosure of perhaps a hun- 
dred feet square, surrounded by a high board 
fence, and entered by a small gate or door. 
In it, some thirty men, women, and children — 
the men chained together, two by two — were 
waiting their departure to the far south-west. 
A dreadful scene it was. Some were cursing 
and swearing, and some were rending the air 
with their cries. There were wives torn from 
their husbands, and husbands from their wives, 
and children snatched from their parents, and 
parents bereft of their children. Without, 
many of their friends and acquaintances 
were gathered, talking to them through the 
bars, some in anger and some in grief, which 
could find no words for its expression. There 
were two speculators in company ; Sally's 
purchaser, who attended to outside matters, 
and who was naturally a kind-hearted man, 
and another, who was wholly sordid and un- 
feeling, and whose business it was to stay with 
the slaves, and to act as overseer, keeping 
them in order as he saw fit. He walked 



100 AUNT SALLY. 



among them, flourishing a whip in his hand, 
listening to their conversation, and watching 
narrowly any seeming attempt to escape. 

It was a bright day in June, and the coun- 
try was in its summer prime. All about them 
were cultivated fields, and away in the dis- 
tance the dark pine forests stretched to the 
horizon. The boughs were full of singing 
birds, and every breeze was odorous of roses 
and jessamines, but in that little spot there 
was anguish enough to shade the brightness 
of the world, and to make all the angels 
weep as they looked down out of the clear 
heaven ! 

In the loud talking and confusion of the 
place, Sally's entrance was not noticed. She 
had lain for some time unconscious, when the 
overseer observed her, and brandishing his 
whip about her head, giving her at the same 
time a slight kick with his heavy foot, he 
called out, in a rough voice — 

" Come, wake up, old gal ! Do n't want no 
fainting fits here ; all my folks must be lively." 

So rudely roused, Sally made an effort to 
sit up and look about her, and as she did so, 
he turned away, and was soon occupied in the 
distant corner. Poor Sally, her heart sick- 



AUNT SALLY. 101 



ened at the scene before her, and she bowed 
her head upon her hands. Now and then 
some fearful oath came to her ear, and anon a 
piteous exclamation. She thought over all 
her life, from her childhood to this bitterest 
hour; a gloomy reach, with only here and 
there an illumined portion, like a November's 
day in northern latitudes, when black clouds 
hurry across the sky, and sunny gleams ap- 
pear only now and then between the shadows 
of the howling winds. Would the night 
never come? She longed for death, and if, in 
her woeful state, she could have prayed, she 
would have besought the Lord that it might 
not tarry. She was roused from her reverie 
by the entrance of her purchaser. Seeing her 
sitting motionless where he had left her, he 
exclaimed, " Come, Sally, there 's no use in 
grieving — what 's done can 't be helped. I '11 
take you back to the house now to pick up 
your things." 

At these words, all the realities of her situa- 
tion came vividly to her mind. She thought 
of her husband and of Isaac, and of her old 
mother, who was now owned by a gentleman 
a little way out of the town, and with a " Yes, 
mas'r," she arose and followed him. On 



102 AUNT SALLY. 



through the streets they passed, and by the 
very market where she had that morning 
made her purchases with so much of inde- 
pendence and satisfaction. What a change' 
had a few hours wrought. Now she was weak 
and dizzy, and led by a man who had over 
her absolute control. The real reason of her 
sale was that her success and popularity had 
awakened so much envy and jealousy, that it 
was deemed expedient she should be removed. 
Alabama was then what Texas is now. Her 
peace and comfort were nothing compared to 
the safety of the cherished institution of 
slavery, and so they were sacrificed without 
one pang of remorse, as they have been thou- 
sands of times since her day. She was well 
known in Fayetteville, and the rumor of her 
sale spread rapidly through the town. As 
they passed on, such remarks as this fell upon 
her ear: 

" Good enough for her." 

" Yes, yes ; she 's held her head rather too 

high- 

" Ah ! that 's the way to take down your 
smart niggers. Eeckon she wont be quite so 
much of a lady down in the Alabama clear- 
ings." 



AUNT SALLY. 103 



But they were not all ill-natured remarks 
which she heard. In one group was a poor 
white woman with whom she had often shared 
her simple meal, and who was now protesting 
against her fate. 

" I tell you it 's a mean shame. There 
aint a better woman in Fayetteville, white 
or black. Did n't she help me take care of 
Jimmy all through the fever last fall, and 
bring me a cup of coffee and a bit of bread 
whenever he was too sick for me to go to my 
day's work ? I say we 'd any of us better be 
sold than Sally. Any how, I believe she 's 
got the Lord on her side." 

These kind words touched Sally's heart, 
and for the first time that day the tears came 
to her eyes. Was the Lord on her side? In 
the depths of her heart she prayed that He 
would not desert her in this most desperate 
hour. " Oh ! Mas'r," she cried, when she 
could speak, " I's willin' to go with ye if it 's 
de Lord's will, but I'se got a son, my oldest 
chile, out on de Eidgely plantation, an' a little 
ways from him my ole mother, an' her I haint 
seen dis three years — if I could only bid 'em 
good bye !" 

" Well, Sally, if you '11 be peaceable and not 



104 AUNT SALLY. 



make me any trouble, I '11 send for 'em to 
come and see you to-morrow morning." 

" Thank'ee, Mas'r," was her grateful reply. 

When she reached her own house, how 
deserted did everything already look. The 
landlord had been there, and taken her newly- 
purchased barrel of flour for rent ; the young 
girl who assisted her had fled in affright, and 
the rooms were in confusion. The speculator 
kept guard at the door, and called out to her 
to make haste and get ready her things. 
How hard it would have been to her to leave 
the various articles of household and person- 
al comfort, which by hard labor she had 
gathered together, if her thoughts had not 
been engrossed by greater sorrows. Only a 
limited amount of baggage could be carried 
on the long journey, and Sally was restricted 
to one trunk and a bag, a bed and a tub and 
a pail. The three last were speedily put in 
readiness, and then she prepared to fill the 
trunk and the bag with her clothing. One 
thing after another was taken from the draw- 
ers and folded away, and when she came to 
Isaac's Bible, she placed it in the bag, that 
she might give it to him on the morrow. 
While thus employed, her husband suddenly 



AUNT SALLY. 105 



entered the house. He was away at his work 
when the news of her sale reached him, and, 
almost beside himself, he had hurried home 
to see her once more. Superior to him in 
thought and energy, he regarded her with a 
kind of veneration, and was weak as a child 
at the thought of losing her. 

" Oh, Sally, ye shan't go. I can 't live with- 
out ye. I '11 tell dat ar cursed speculator 
to" 

" Do n't go on so, Lewis, I can't bar it ; I 
specs it 's de Lord dat sends him." 

" Sally, ye know I's got some money dat I's 
been savin', an' I know where there 's them 
that '11 lend me some more. I '11 buy ye of 
him ; " and he went to the door and offered 
the man two hundred and fifty dollars, the 
price he had paid for his wife; and when 
this was refused, three hundred dollars was 
proffered, with the promise that the money 
should be paid to him that very evening. 

" There 's no use talking about it," said the 
speculator, " money can't alter this transac- 
tion. Sally 's going to Alabama, and you may 
as well be quiet about it." 

"Oh, Lord Jesus!" gasped Sally, as the 



106 AUNT SALLY. 



words reached her through the open door, 
" go thar with me ! " 

Half frantic, her husband came back, and 
now raving, and now embracing her, he 
watched her lay the last things into "the 
trunk upon the floor. "What do ye carry 
yer clothes for, Sally ? He '11 sell 'em to get 
grain for his cursed horses. I would n't take 
any thing but what I had on my back." 

At this moment the speculator called out to 
know if Sally was ready, and hastily fasten- 
ing the trunk, and leaving it with the other 
things which were to be conveyed to the 
wagon, and taking the bag in her hand, she 
went out, saying to her husband, " Bar it as 
well 's ye ken, Lewis, an' cum an' see me in 
de mornin'." 

Eve was not sadder at leaving Paradise 
than was Sally when she stepped, for the last 
time, over the threshold of that humble dwel- 
ling, where had passed the only bright days 
she had ever known. Twilight was fast fad- 
ing, and the hush of a tranquil summer night 
was settling upon the town. Who could have 
thought so much of anguish was in human 
hearts on such an eve ! Silently they walked 
on, Sally and her master. At the corner of 



AUNT SALLY. 107 



one of the streets she was accosted by a 
colored man named White, who had always 
been very friendly to her. Just as he passed 
her he said, in a low tone, which was unheard 
by her companion, " I shall come up to de 
yard to see ye in de eveninV When they 
reached the slave-pen, it was quite dark, but 
out by the wagons a huge fire was burning, 
and its ruddy glow shone even on the faces 
of the poor creatures within the enclosure. 
Most of them were sleeping, worn out with 
the misery of the day. Sally took the most 
quiet corner, and laying her bag down against 
the fence, had composed herself as well as she 
was able, when she heard some one speaking 
to her through the bars. It was White. He 
had come to tell her that the speculators, hav- 
ing locked the door, had gone away for a 
little while, and that if she would wait till 
they were all asleep, and the fire had burnt 
low, she could climb over the fence and es- 
cape. A wild hope of freedom sprung up 
within her, and she embraced it as eagerly as 
an imprisoned bird that had beat its wings 
hopelessly against unyielding walls, would fly 
to an open window which revealed the sunny 
sky. Carefully she took the clothes from her 



108 AUNT SALLY. 



bag and passed them, piece by piece, through 
the crack to her friend without, and then, 
when all was quiet, and the firelight glow had 
faded, she tried to mount the high fence that 
she might let herself down upon the other 
side. A difficult thing it was. Two or three 
times she almost succeeded, and then fell 
frightened back upon the ground. Just as 
she was about to attempt it again, in a differ- 
ent manner, the bolt of the door was sud- 
denly withdrawn, and she knew that the 
master had returned, and that all was over. 
So quietly she lay down, and closing her eyes 
as if in sleep, resigned herself to her fate. 

The morning dawned bright and beautiful 
on the fields, and wan and wretched on that 
imprisoned band. The slave train was to 
leave before noon, and life-long leave-takings 
must be crowded into these brief hours. Only 
a favored few were permitted to enter the 
yard ; most of the poor creatures were stand- 
ing by the fence, talking through it to their 
friends without, strangely intermingling oaths 
and sobs and loving words. Here and there 
one was heard calling upon God, and commit- 
ting a friend to His care, but most of them 
seemed desperate and reckless in their woe. 



AUNT SALLY. 109 



Sally stood, looking out between the boards, 
to see if, among the multitude, she could dis- 
cern her mother or her child. The sun rose 
high in heaven, and the dew forsook the 
grass, but still they did not come. She began 
to fear they had not been sent for, when, 
hastening through the crowd, she saw a tall 
and comely boy leading an old woman by the 
hand, whom she knew to be her son and her 
mother. 

Calling to them that they might know 
where to find her, she sat down by the largest 
opening in the boards, and gazed out upon 
them as if all of life were in her eyes. Her 
old mother was growing childish, and her 
heart was almost broken at parting from 
Sally, who was her only daughter and her 
pride. Her screams and groans were agoniz- 
ing to hear, and pierced poor Sally's heart 
with a keener sorrow. Isaac seemed quite 
stunned and silenced by the blow, but deep 
thoughts were at work within him, and he 
was forming resolutions which were to influ- 
ence his future life. Among the slave com- 
pany was a young girl of good disposition 
and character, named Charlotte Eives. The 
grandmother knew her, and begged Sally, as 



110 AUNT SALLY. 



she desired the blessing of the Lord, to watch 
over and protect her. While they stood thus 
talking, Sally's husband made his way to the 
group, with wild, sad face, that betrayed a 
night of pain. He gave her a small parcel, 
saying, " There 's a new dress for ye, Sally. 
When ye get to Alabama, if ye think it '11 do 
for me to come, find somebody to write to me, 
an' I '11 surely go to ye." 

" I will, Lewis, I will. I '11 pray to de Lord 
to let ye come." 

" Sally, I can't stay to see ye go. It would 
kill me. If ye hear any thing from little 
Lewis, send it to me in de letter. Farwell !" 

"Oh, G-od o' mercy, farwell, farwell!" said 
Sally, as they wrung each other's hands, and 
parted. 

There was a great commotion now about 
the yard; then the door was opened, and the 
speculators entered, and took out first the 
chained men, whom they arranged in march- 
ing order, and then the women and children 
followed. Last of all came Sally, and as soon 
as she was without the door, her mother and 
her son clasped her in their arms. White, 
upon some pretext, had brought her bag to 
her again, and now, drawiug from it the 



AUNT SALLY. Ill 



precious Bible, she put it into Isaac's hand, 
saying— 

u Eead it every day, chile, an' pray to de 
Lord to guide ye. 'Pears like he '11 take care 
of ye. If ye see yer brother Daniel, tell him 
his mother loves him, an' wants him allers to 
be a good boy." 

" Oh, mother," said she to the old woman, 
" you'se been a good mother to me, an I can't 
half thank ye for it. Do n't take on for me. 
De Lord '11 bless ye, an' bring us all together, 
I hopes, in de Kingdom." 

Around Sally stood many of her acquaint- 
ances, who had been accustomed to attend the 
same meeting with her, and who prized her 
friendship, and had come out from Fayette- 
ville to bid her adieu. Some were weeping, 
some invoking God's blessing upon her, and 
one was improvizing, in a minor strain, a song 
which began — 

" Sister, far well ! I bid ye adieu, 
I : m sorry to leave ye, I lub ye so well; 
But now you are going to whar I dunno ; 
When ye get to yer station, pray for poor me!" 

But now the train was ready, and the im 
patient overseer called out to Sally, " Come, 
hurry up there ! You '11 have time enough to 



112 AUNT SALLY. 



cry on the road." One last embrace, and the 
mother and daughter and son tore themselves 
from each other's arms, casting back agonized 
glances as they moved away. Suddenly, the 
old woman broke from her grandchild's hold, 
and running after her daughter, untied her 
checked apron from her waist, and threw it 
toward her, asking her own in exchange, 
which was given. Simple pledge ! yet was it 
as dear to them as if it had been a girdle of 
gems. 

" Far 'well, far 'well, the Lord bless ye," 
they cried, till their voices grew faint in the 
distance, and then the grandmother and the 
boy returned to their respective masters, and 
Sally went forward to unknown lands. 



AUNT SALLY. 113 



CHAPTER XI. 

THE SLAVE-GANCL 

Over its bed the river rolled, 

All flecked with shining foam; 
The waves were black and the waves were cold, 
But, deep in their darkest, chilliest fold, 

I would I had found a home. 

Oh, it had been a sweet release, 

Secure from a master's call, 
There to sleep in unbroken peace, 
Till the world and the worldling's power should cease, 

And the Lord be all in all ! 

In the slave-coffle were about twenty men, 
with three women — Sally, the young girl 
Charlotte, and an old woman named Hagar, 
whom the speculator had bought at a bar- 
gain, and five small children. The men were 
chained together, two by two, but Hagar was 
docile from age and habit, and Charlotte from 
youth and inexperience, and there was a kind 
of dignity about Sally which made her new 
master dislike to put her in irons; so that, 
contrary to the usual custom, all three were 
left unshackled. The speculators rode in a 
light carriage, and a large wagon, drawn by 
horses, contained the baggago of the com- 



114 AUNT SALLY. 



pany. The children took turns in riding in 
the wagon, and now and then the privilege 
was extended to one of the women. What a 
hopeless company it was that dragged its 
weary way through the pine forests to the far 
southwest ! All had been torn from home 
and friends, and were going every hour fur- 
ther from what they held dear. Is it strange 
that their steps were slow, and that every 
gloomy and evil passion was aroused in their 
hearts ? 

Poor Sally had borne up bravely hitherto 
under her successive trials, and had btill 
looked forward with something of hope to 
the future, but this was too much, even for 
her endurance; and when the last farewell 
was over, her heart died within her, and a 
darkness, which might be felt, settled down 
upon her soul. She thought Grod had for- 
saken her, and she dared not pray. One 
only desire filled her mind, and that was to 
escape from her master, and find her way 
back to her dear old home. The first day 
they advanced about ten miles, and encamped 
for the night in a little opening among tho 
pines. A heap of light-wood was soon col- 
lected, and a blazing fire kindled. The meal 



AUNT SALLY. 115 



and water were given to the women to mix 
for bread, which was baked in the ashes and 
then divided, with a small piece of bacon for 
each, among the company. But this was not 
the white men's fare — oh, no ! They had 
wheaten bread and crackers, and a pot of 
coffee boiled for them upon the glowing coals, 
of which the negroes could only inhale the 
delicious fragrance. They ate their delicate 
bread and drank their coffee, seeing their 
captives the while devouring the coarse cake, 
with as much indifference and unconscious- 
ness of injustice as you would have in sitting 
at a luxurious table and watching your dog 
picking the bones at your feet. When the 
meal was over, the men were chained to the 
trunks of trees, and to the wheels of the 
wagon, and the wtmen and children lay down 
beneath the shelter of the tent. So closely 
were they watched by the overseer, that they 
had little opportunity to speak privately to 
each other, but Sally had the young girl 
Charlotte by her side ; and whispering to her 
to keep awake, she waited until all was still 
but the heavy breathing of her companions, 
and then motioned to her to steal out after 
her into the open air. She was only ten 



116 AUNT SALLY. 



miles from Fayetteville ; she would never be 
so near it again, and the thought made her des- 
perate to return. Silently they crept along, 
startled by every wind that stirred the pine 
boughs, and halted between each step to 
listen. They had passed the tents and tha 
wagon, and were just striking into the forest, 
when they heard voices. Just at that mo- 
ment, the fire caught a new faggot, and, by 
the blaze, they saw the two speculators sit- 
ting over the embers, closely engaged in con- 
versation. Sally was so frightened that she 
stepped hastily forward, treading upon a dry 
branch, which broke with a crackling noise. 

"Who's there?" called out the overseer, as 
both he and his companion rose and advanced 
quickly toward the wood. 

"Oh, mas'r," said Sally, more dead than 
alive, " it 's only me an' Charlotte ; we 's jes* 
gwine to de spring for some water — dat 's all." 

" Do n't tell me none of your lies," screamed 
the overseer; " I know what you 're after, and 
I know what you '11 get, too ! " and he shook 
his fist in her face. 

"Hush, Jones, let her alone," said the spec- 
ulator ; never mind about the water to-night, 
Sally; go back and lie down with the rest." 



AUNT SALLY. 117 



"Yes, mas'r," said Sally, thankful to escape, 
as she slunk back with the girl to her old 
place in the tent. 

"She deserves a hundred lashes, Leland," 
said the overseer, as she turned away, " and 
if I had my way, she 'd get 'em. You know 
she meant to run off." 

" Well, I s'pose she did, and I do n't wonder 
at it. I tell you, she was better off than we 
are, and it 's mighty hard to be broken up in 
this way. I can't afford to lose her, but I 
won't have her whipped for trying to run 
away. Now remember." 

"I should like to know how such a chicken- 
hearted man as you come to be in this busi- 
ness, any way?" 

" I was brought up to it ; my father was in 
it before me, but I 'm sick of it sometimes, 
that's a fact." And he walked slowly and 
thoughtfully to his tent. Poor man ! He 
had moments of great uneasiness, for his 
heart was yet tender. But interest and cus- 
tom were stronger than his sense of right; 
so, after a little disquiet, he lay down and 
slept soundly in the midst of his victims. 

What a night was that for Sally! In her 
dreans she liv'au over the day, and Isaac pi 



118 AUNT SALLY. 



agonized face was before her, and her mother's 
scream and her husband's farewell rang in 
her ears. Bewildered and feverish she awoke. 
The sun had not yet risen, but the camp was 
astir, that they might be on their way before 
the heat of noon. A breakfast, like their 
evening meal, and then the tents were folded, 
and the day's march began. 

Fifteen miles a day was their average travel. 
In the first thirty miles out of Fayetteville, 
they met several country farmers going into 
town with their produce. Some of them 
Sally knew, having had dealings with them 
in the market. They looked wonderingly at 
her as they passed, while she, poor soul, as 
she saw them disappear on the homeward 
road, was almost tempted to break from the 
line, and follow after them, even though she 
should be shot down in the attempt. All other 
feelings were swallowed up in her one desire to 
escape. If their path led through the forest, 
she wondered if she could not steal away un- 
der its shadow, and at night she lay awake 
for hours, trying to think of some plan by 
which to fly and elude pursuit. Siberia never 
fell colder and more fearful upon the ear and 
heart of the departing exile than did Alabama 



AUNT SALLY. 119 



upon hers. She remembered the story of the 
flight of the Israelites from Egypt, and she 
sometimes thought, perhaps, the Lord would 
appear for her and give her a marvelous de- 
liverance. But day succeeded day, in mo- 
notonous travel, bearing her farther and far- 
ther from home, and affording her neither 
opportunity nor pretext for retracing her 
steps. She did not quite despair, however, 
but, every night, when she lay down by the 
camp-fire, she hoped something would happen 
to favor her on the morrow. 

Five lingering weeks had passed, and the 
train had wound its toilsome way quite across 
the Carolinas to the Savannah River, which, 
swollen by recent rains, rolled its black wa- 
ters, flecked with foam, downward to the sea. 
They halted on its banks to prepare for the 
crossing. The carriage and baggage-wagon 
were to go over a ferry at some distance 
above, but the expense was thought too great 
for the party to be conveyed in this way, and 
so it was decided that they should ford the 
stream. At this a dreadful consternation 
seized the slaves. Naturally timid, and from 
their field life unaccustomed to the water, 
thev feared to encounter its rushing tide. 



120 AUNT SALLY. 



Shrieks and curses were heard among them, 
and the jaded limbs of many a stout man 
quaked in his fetters. The speculator was to 
go by the ferry, and was giving the overseer 
some directions about their place of meeting, 
when Sally stepped forward and said, in a 
trembling voice, 

"Please, mas'r, what river is dis?" 
" It 's the Savannah river, Sally." 
" Oh, mas'r ! have we done got past Car'lina?" 
"Yes, Sally, you 've seen the last of it." 
"Is dat ar Alabama?" pointing across the 
river. 

" Oh, bless you, no. That 's Georgia. We 've 
got hundreds of miles to go yet." 

Sally could not sj^eak, for such a faintness 
came over her that she thought she was dying. 
"With the word Carolina was associated all 
she knew of home and place, and Georgia 
and Alabama were as vague and indefinite as 
if they had been in another world. But there 
was no time to waste in thought. The Women 
and children were made to go first into the 
stream, followed by the men, who were fas- 
tened together in a line, and ordered to assist 
them. At the first plunge into the water, they 
screamed and almost fell down in their fear 



AUNT SALLY. 121 



but the overseer was behind them on horse- 
back, shouting and swearing and urging them 
od. Desperation was in their hearts, and.no 
ray of hope lighted up their future. Most 
of them would rather have died than gone 
forward to the misery beyond, and tried to 
bury themselves beneath the water, but some 
were afraid of death, and struggled madly to 
keep above the waves ; so with cries from 
the half-drowning women and children, and 
oaths and fierce wranglings among the men, 
at last, panting and exhausted, they reached 
the G-eorgia shore. 

Sally looked back at Carolina, sleeping in 
the afternoon sun. and knew she never should 
see it more, because that fearful river could 
not be crossed again. "Oh, then," said she, 
" 'peared like something burst inside of me, 
and I gin up altogether." 

And now the most toilsome part of the 
journey commenced, for all hope of escape 
was gone, and they were exhausted by previ- 
ous travel. New scenes were about them. 
The pine groves of the Fayetteville region 
had given place to the more varied forests 
of Georgia. A richer vegetation clothed the 
earth, and flowers and birds, which tboy 



122 AUNT SALLY. 



had never seen before, made the woodlands 

But Sally went forward unconscious, like 
one in a dream, and old Hagar, whose hus- 
band was in Carolina, and Charlotte, who had 
left a loving mother, wept and bemoaned their 
fate at every step of the way. The children 
were now carried constantly in the wagon, 
and the speculator, finding that the women 
were failing, and that their feet were bruised 
and swollen, ordered that they should take 
turns in riding also; and because the wagon 
was overloaded, sometimes gave up the car- 
riage to them and walked himself. The men, 
who had no such relief, but must plod on from 
day to day, began to suffer exceedingly from 
the chafing of their fetters, and the master 
determined to have them exchanged for lighter 
ones, at the first opportunity. Their way lay 
mostly through forests and thinly settled dis- 
tricts, but, after a few days, they reached a 
village where was a blacksmith's shop, erected 
on purpose to shoe the horses and repair the 
irons of the slave-gangs which passed that 
way. They halted in front of it, and the 
negroes, throwing themselves upon the grass, 
were taken, two by two, into the shop, and 



AUNT SALLY. 123 



their fetters exchanged for those which were 
easier to wear. In the village was a minister, 
a true gospel preacher, whose heart was 
wrung by the scenes which almost daily passed 
before his eyes on this great thoroughfare. 
As he glanced from his window in the hot 
noon, and saw the slaves lying there looking 
so spent and worn, with the chains about 
their ankles, his whole soul was moved, and, 
coming out of his house, he hastily crossed 
the road to where the speculator was sitting 
under a tree, and began to expostulate with 
him, and to set before him the enormity of 
the traffic in which he was engaged. 

" What you say is all true, sir," said Leland; 
"but I was raised in the business, and if I 
do n't take 'em down, somebody else will. I 
assure you I treat 'em well. I drive the best 
gangs that go into Alabama. There 's a proof 
of what I say, sir; their irons were too heavy 
for comfort, and, at considerable expense to 
myself, I 'm having lighter ones made for 
'em." 

"I see you're a kind-hearted jnan, and the 
last one that should be in a trade like this — 
driving men and women in chains through 



124 AUNT SALLY. 



the country like so many cattle. You believe 
they have souls, do n't you?" 

"Souls? I sometimes think their souls are 
a great deal bigger than ours. There's that 
woman, Sally, leaning against the tree yon- 
der — she 's got more soul than a dozen of 
some white women I know." 

"And yet you can buy and sell them as if 
they were blocks of wood! I tell you, you 
are committing a fearful crime. God's word 
is against you, and the judgment day will be 
against you, when you stand there with them 
to give an account of your lives." 

"Bless me, sir, no minister ever talked 
so to me before. I had a good many such 
thoughts myself, last year, after having a 
great fuss at the sale of one of my gangs, so 
I went to my minister in Alabama and asked 
him what he thought about it? 'O,' said he, 
'these are unavoidable evils, and the world is 
full of them every where. There 's no doubt 
that slavery 's a divine institution, and if you 
do the best you can, you need n't give your- 
self any trouble about the matter.' I was 
quieted for the time, but ever since I bought 
Sally, I 've been thinking the same things 
again ; and I believe you 're right." 



AUNT SALLY. 125 



" Then why not give up this cursed busi- 
ness, and do what you can to atone for your 
past life?" 

"Well, to tell you the truth, sir, I'm poor, 
and if I do n't make well on this lot, I shall 
surely fail and lose every thing I 've got in 
the world. The fact is, I never could bear to 
buy and sell as most traders do, and so I 
never make much money any way. But I 
promise you, sir, if I can pay my debts when 
these are sold, and I '11 try to get them all 
good places, I never '11 buy another man, 
woman, or child as long as I live, for, as you 
say, it 's a cursed business." 

The new irons being all adjusted, the line 
of march was again taken up. The specu- 
lator showed his sincerity by proceeding with 
more care, and paying greater attention to 
the food and rest of his company. Sally's dis- 
tress of mind had so affected her health that 
she was obliged to give up walking altogether. 
She grew thin, her appetite failed, and her 
master feared she would not live till they 
reached their destination. 

" Come, Sally," he would say to her, "cheer 
up. I 'm going to keep you myself. I 've no 



126 AUNT SALLY. 



idea of selling you. By-and-by, perhaps, I '11 
take you to see Lewis at Clairborne." 

At this she would smile faintly, and say, 
" Thank'ee, mas'r," and then relapse into her 
old indifference. At length they entered Ala- 
bama, and when she heard where they were, 
she burst into tears, and sobbed so violently 
that they thought she would die. Her mas- 
ter begged her to compose herself, but her 
grief would have its way. She refused to be 
comforted, and every few hours would moan 
and weep afresh, until they reached the house 
of the speculator, where the slaves were to be 
kept till he could dispose of them to his liking. 



AUNT SALLY. 127 



CHAPTER XII. 

ALMOST DESPAIR. 

Hear me, Lord ! in mercy hear me, 

All my earthly joy is gone; 
Not a star remains to cheer me 

Through the night that 's coming on. 

Thou! the meek, the tender-hearted, 

Gentle Jesus ! pity me ; 
I from all I love have parted, 

Lord! I can not part from Thee! 

The home of the speculator was on the 
Alabama river, about two hundred miles 
above Mobile. He had inherited the place 
from his father. It had a neglected look, and 
the house was going to decay, yet it was 
more attractive than most of the residences 
in that vicinity. There were ample grounds 
about it; and live oak and magnolia trees, 
rising here and there in stately proportions, 
atoned for the dilapidated appearance of the 
mansion. Leland was naturally a man of 
generous impulse, and fine sensibility, but he 
had been reared to his business by his father, 
who was utterly devoid of principle, and his 
whole life had been a contest between habit 



128 AUNT SALLY. 



and interest, and his interior sense of right. 
His convictions of wrong-doing were just weak 
enough to prevent him from abandoning his 
trade, and just strong enough to keep him 
from making it profitable. So he went on 
from year to year buying and selling, but al- 
ways growing poorer. His wife was a meek, 
gentle woman, who had no thought aside from 
her husband's opinion, and his only child was 
a bright, sweet-tempered girl of twelve years 
— her mother's oracle and her father's pride. 
If any one wanted a favor of Leland, it was 
the safest way to approach him through "Miss 
Bessie." 

The sun was just setting on a sultry August 
evening, as the master, with his weary com- 
pany, reached his own domain. Leaving the 
negroes in charge of the overseer, he rode 
hastily up the carriage way, and was greeted 
at the door with joyous acclamations by his 
daughter, and timid delight by his wife. The 
negro quarters were in the rear of the house, 
and in a few minutes Jones appeared, leading 
their new occupants thither. 

"How is it, Mary," said Leland, as they 
•packed by, "do you want any help in the 
hcise?" 



AUNT SALLY. 129 



" Why, yes, George," said his wife, " we 
really need a cook. It seems like I 've had 
nothing but trouble with Sue since you went 
away." 

" Well, then, there 's just the woman for 
you. I bought her in Fayetteville; she kept 
a cake shop there, but she 's sick, Mary, she 's 
sick and miserable, — and you 'd better take 
her right into the house and attend to her. 
Her master would sell her because every body 
said she was doing too well for a nigger. I 
declare, I never felt so bad in my life as I 
have for her, and if I can, I mean to keep her 
and use her well." 

"0 father!" said Bessie, who stood by, 
" may I run and tell her she 's to come to the 
house, and not to be sold any more?" 

" Yes, Bessie ; cheer her up, if you can." 

With light foot the little girl ran to the 
cabin appropriated to the women, and looking 
in, saw Sally lying on the rude bed, the pic- 
ture of despair. 

"Don't feel bad, Aunty," said she, as she 
put her little white hand in Sally's; "my 
father says you shall live with us in the 
house, and nobody shall carry you away." 

Sally was too wretched and hopeless to 



130 AUNT SALLY. 



speak. She wished she might be left alone to 
die. She was like one who has gone through 
the agonies of dissolution in drowning, and to 
whom any attempt at restoration is painful. 
But the caressing hand and the kind words 
went to her heart in spite of herself, and she 
wept. 

A few days of rest and kind nursing quite 
improved Sally's bodily health ; but her great- 
est trouble was at heart. She thought she 
was abandoned of God, and that He had never 
loved her, or He would not have sent her such 
trials. There was no one to speak to her of 
Jesus, or to remind her that " whom the Lord 
loveth, He chasteneth," and so she went on, 
bearing this grievous burden in silence and 
alone. As soon as she was able, the cooking 
was given into her charge, and Charlotte was 
taken to the kitchen to assist her. Her new 
master's affairs were in a desperate condition. 
He had gone on his last trading expedition, 
determined, if possible, to retrieve his for- 
tunes; but the incidents of the journey, the 
purchase of Sally, and the reproof of the 
minister, had aroused his slumbering con- 
science, and called forth all that was generous 
in his nature ; and he was resolved not to 



AUNT SALLY. 131 



part with his negroes except to their advan- 
tage as well as his own. So, instead of selling 
them at public auction, he sent privately to 
those whom he thought likely to buy and to 
prove good masters, and invited them to com© 
and inspect the "lot" on his own premises. 
And now he realized, as he had never done 
before, the horrors of that institution which 
he had been helping to maintain. It began 
to be a fearful thing to him to have the des- 
tiny of human beings in his hands. The 
levity with which the subject was treated 
was painful to him, and the oaths and coarse 
jokes of the buyers grated upon his ears. And 
thus it came to pass, that although every day 
was increasing his financial difficulties, weeks 
ran into months, and only five men and two 
children out of the company were sold. 

Sally's position was one of comparative 
comfort. Her master and mistress treated 
her with uniform kindness and respect; and 
sweet Bessie always had a smile for "Aunty," 
as she called her. The burden had not gone 
from her heart, but she had grown calm ; and 
with her keen eye she looked around and cal- 
culated the chances of her future. She had 
seen more than one family's pecuniary ruin, 



132 AUNT SALLY. 



and the disaster it occasioned, and she foresaw 
that this would be her new master's fate, so 
she took her present place much as a traveler 
across a burning desert would take a little 
oasis which he knew he must shortly leave 
for the pathless sand. She remembered her 
husband's promise to come to her if she would 
send for him, and watched narrowly to know 
if it were best. She saw that slavery there 
was, in some respects, a different thing from 
what even her experience had made it in 
Carolina. The ties of affection and mutual 
dependence which at home often bound mas- 
ter and slaves together, seemed there no 
where to exist, but to give place to a forced 
and cheerless servitude ; above all, she noticed 
that free negroes were always spoken of and 
treated with contempt. So, bitter as was the 
alternative, she resolved to send word to her 
husband to remain in Fayetteville, where he 
was known, and where he could at least earn 
a comfortable and independent living. It was 
the close of a bright day in winter. Sally's 
work was done, and she was sitting before the 
kitchen fire, as she always sat now when not 
employed, in a kind of dream or stupor, 
hopeless, but uncomplaining. Suddenly the 



AUNT SALLY. 133 



door opened, and Bessie entered with a beam 
ing face. 

Oh, Aunty ! I 've got something to tell you. 
There 's been a trader from Mobile here to 
see father, to-day, and there was one of youi 
nice pound-cakes on the dinner table ; and ha 
said to mamma, 'Why, where did you get 
such a cook, Mrs. Leland ? " Then father told 
him about you, and when he had done, the 
man said you was just such a cook as he 
wanted to take down to Mobile, and that he 'd 
give six hundred dollars for you. But my 
father said he would n't sell you, for he meant 
to have your bones laid on the same planta- 
tion with his; and I was so glad, Aunty, I 
ran out to tell you. What were you thinking 
about when I came in here? " 

" Bless you, chile, you 's very good to me. 
I was thinkin' 'bout my husband 'way back in 
Car'lina. I promised to send him word 'bout 
comin' down here, but 'pears like dis ain 't no 
place for him. I 's bid far'well to him an' 
all de chil'n, an' now 'pears like dey 'd better 
leave me 'lone. If I could only get a letter 
writ to him!" 

"Why, Aunty, I can write you a letter. 
I 've written three all alone ; two to my 



134 AUNT SALLY. 



teacher, Miss Martin, she 's gone to Missis- 
sippi, now, and one to my grand'ma in Ten- 
nessee. I '11 go right and ask my father for 
some paper and his pen." 

In a few minutes she returned, and, sitting 
down, wrote, with great care, a few lines, to 
Sally's dictation, directing the note to " Lewis 
Beggs, Fayetteville, North Carolina." 

" There, now ! Is n't that nice ? I '11 ask 
my father to take it to the postoffice the next 
time he goes over there. Do n't you want me 
to write another to your little boy down in 
Claiborne?" 

" Oh, Miss Bessie, I dunno whar he is. He 
was a peart little thing ! Is Claiborne a great 
ways off?" 

" I do n't know. It 's somewhere by Mobile, 
aint it? When my father goes down there 
again, I '11 ask him to take you and me, and 
then we can find out his master and see him. 
If I was only a grown up woman, I'd send 
for your husband and all your children, and 
you should live in my house and have good 
times." 

" De Lord bless ye, honey ! Dere aint no 
more good times for me nowhar! " and Sally 
relapsed into her melancholy silence, while 



AUNT SALLY. 135 



Bessie, sad and uncertain what to do, stole 
out of the kitchen. 

A few days after this, Sally was called to 
the sitting-room by her master. " There, 
Sally," said he, " Here 's one of your old 
Fayetteville neighbors." 

Sally looked up and saw before her Mr. 
"Wayne, a gentleman who had often purchased 
cakes and coffee at her stall, but had been 
some months absent from Fayetteville, and 
had not heard of her sale. 

" Why, Sally ! " he exclaimed, " I 'm aston- 
ished to see you down here. "Where 's your 
husband?" 

"Oh, mas'r "Wayne, it does my heart good 
to see ye! He's back in Car'lina. Tears 
like dat 's de best place for him. I jes' sent 
him a letter to stay whar he is." 

"That's right. Upon my word," turning 
to Leland, "this is too bad. There wasn't a 
working woman in Fayetteville doing as well 
as she was. If I could afford it, I 'd take her 
back again. Sally, do you want to send any 
word home ? " 

Thank'ee, mas'r Wayne. Will ye please to 
tell Lewis, dat 'taint because I do n't love him 
dat I sent him de letter, but 'cause I knows 



136 AUNT SALLY. 



he 's better off whar he is ; an' if ye see Isaac 
an' Daniel, tell 'em their mother never forgets 
em, never. Oh, mas'r Wayne, dere's one thing 
more," and the tears ran down her sunken 
cheeks, " 'pears like I 's lost de Lord in my 
troubles. Will ye go to de meetin' sometime 
Sunday afternoon, an' ask my ole friends to 
pray for me ? I 's parted with my home an' 
my husband, an' my chil'en, but I mils' hold 
on to de Lord ! " 

Shaking her hand, and promising faithfully 
to deliver her messages, Mr. Wayne set out 
for Fayetteville. One morning, when he had 
accomplished about half the journey, as he 
was riding leisurely along through the forest, 
he saw approaching him, on foot, a negro, 
with a bundle slung over his shoulder. As 
he came nearer, he was surprised to see that 
it was Sally's husband. 

" Why, Beggs," he exclaimed, "is that you? 
I saw Sally, down in Alabama, and she told 
me she had sent you a letter not to come 
there, because she knew you was better off 
where you were. I tell you the black folks 
do n't fare as well down south as they do in 
our quarters ; and as for the free negroes they 
hate 'em. I 'm sorry for you — there are not 



AUNT SALLY. 137 



many such women as Sally, but my advice to 
you is, to turn round and go home, and be 
contented." 

Poor Lewis ! Almost heart-broken after 
Sally's departure, he had resolved to go in 
search of her, come what would, and had gone 
thus far on the toilsome journey when this 
intelligence reached him. Despairingly, he 
retraced his steps, and after many weeks 
reached Fayetteville, thin and feeble. He 
had never possessed much energy of charac- 
ter, and now, having no motive for sobriety 
and industry, he became a confirmed drunk- 
ard, and in a short time died miserably, and 
was buried in a pauper's grave. It was years 
afterward before Sally heard of his melan- 
choly fate. 



138 AUNT SALLY. 



CHAPTER XIII. 

SOLD AGAIN — GLEAMS OF LIGHT. 

The wind is blowing o'er the woods, 

The wind of March that longs for flowers, 
And waking in the solitudes 

Sweet buds to gladden April hours. 
And every blossom has its bird 

To hover o'er it all day long, 
With loving whispers never heard, 

Except by flower in birdling's song. 

! that there were some gentle breeze, 

Across my wintry heart to stray, 
And waken on its leafless trees 

Sweet buds of hope and coming May. 
And that there were some bird of love, 

Within the boughs to sit and sing, 
And singing, bear my soul above, . 

Where summer joys eternal spring! 

It was February. Trouble had thickened 
round Leland till it became certain that if the 
slaves were not disposed of within a limited 
time, they would be taken for debt by the 
sheriff, and sold at public auction. So deeply 
was he involved, that it was impossible for 
him to retain one for himself, and he deter- 
mined, first of all, to provide the best home in 



AUNT SALLY. 139 



his power for Sally. He knew an enterprising 
man in Dallas county, by the name of Cone, 
who had purchased new lands, and was about 
clearing them and bringing them under cul- 
tivation, and whom he thought would be likely 
to need more help. So he sent a messenger to 
tell him about her, and ask him to come over 
and see her for himself, which he promised to 
do. True to his word, the next day, about 
noon, he rode up to the house. He was a 
man of good sense and intelligence, and of a 
kind heart, but violent and unreasonable when 
roused to anger. Dismounting from his horse, 
Leland met him and took him aside for con- 
versation. 

" My wife wants a seamstress, Leland," said 
he ; " does Sally understand sewing ? " 

" I can tell you this, sir. When I went to 
her house in Fayetteville, I saw a nice silk 
dress, upon which she was working, lying on 
the table, and I was told that she was in the 
habit of making dresses, and doing all kinds 
of work for people, when she had leisure. I 
assure you she 's a treasure, and it 's mighty 
hard for me to give her up. I would n't if I 
was n't obliged to. But come into the house 
and judge for yourself." 



140 " AUNT SALLY. 



So saying, he led the way into the parlor 
and asked his wife to send for Sally, upon 
some pretext, that Mr. Cone might see her. 
One of the young negroes was dispatched for 
Sally, who soon appeared. Her mistress de- 
tained her for several minutes, giving her 
directions about her work. It was an unusual 
thing ; and, looking up, she saw Mrs. Leland's 
embarrassment, and Mr. Cone's eager gaze, 
and at once the truth flashed upon her mind. 

" Oh, mas'r!" she exclaimed in a voice of 
agony, "Is I sold? Ye told me I should live 
an' die with ye." 

" Sally, God knows my heart, I meant you 
should j but I've lost every thing I own in the 
world, and if I do n't sell you, the sheriff 
will." 

" Has it come to dat, mas'r ? "Well, de Lord's 
will be done!" 

She turned av^ay, but in a moment came 
back again with streaming eyes. " Oh, mas'r ! 
I promised my ole mother dat I'd look after 
Charlotte, like she was one o' my own chil'en. 
'Pears like I could bar it better if ye'd sell her 
with me." 

" Yes, Cone," said Leland, " she was the girl 
you saw by the kitchen, when we came in. 



AUNT SALLY. 141 



She 's young and likely, and if yon '11 take 
her, you shall have her at a bargain, for Sally's 
sake." 

After a little conversation, Mr. Cone agreed 
to purchase them both, and it was arranged 
that he should send a man for them the next 
morning. 

It was evening, and Sally sat, as usual, by 
the kitchen fire, thinking of the change which 
awaited her, and wondering what dreadful sin 
she had committed, that the Lord sent her 
such afniction*s. She was like a plant rudely 
torn from its native earth, and set in strange 
soil, where it has hardly begun to send forth 
a few nourishing roots below, and to expand 
a few leaf-buds above, ere it is removed to a 
new parterre. She longed for little Bessie's 
sympathy, but she had gone to her grand- 
mother's, in Tennessee. Charlotte was with 
her, but she was too young and inexperienced 
to anticipate the future with much anxiety. 
She wished she could pray, as she once had 
done, but her trust and peace of mind were 
gone. The embers had grown dim, and she 
rose to lie down to sleep for the last time in 
lhat familiar room, when the door swung 



142 AUNT SALLY. 



open, and, looking up, she saw her master 
enter, pale and dejected. 

"Sally," sai4 he, "you do n't feel worse 
about this than I do. God forgive me for 
ever taking you away from Carolina." 

" Oh ! mas'r, 't want you, 't was de Lord dat 
did it, an' I must be willin' to bar whatever 
He sends." 

" Will you forgive me, Sally, for bringing 
you to so much trouble?" 

" I'se nothin' to forgive, mas'r, you'se been 
very good to me. Do n't be grievin' about it, 
it 's de Lord's will." 

"Good night, Sally;" and he extended his 
hand. " Good night, you 've taught me more 
than all the ministers." 

" God bless you, mas'r ! good night." 

Early the next morning Sally and Charlotte 
were on their way to their new home. They 
rode in a sort of lumber-wagon, which carried 
also their baggage. A few miles through the 
forest, and they came in sight of Mr. Cone's 
plantation. He had begun here as a poor 
man, but was year by year adding lands and 
servants to his estate. He still dwelt in a log- 
house, with the simplest furniture and conve- 
niences, while his negroes were lodged in 



AUNT SALLY. 143 



ruder cabins around him. His family con- 
sisted of his wife and four sons. Mrs. Cone 
was a woman of great energy of character, 
but ignorant and narrow-minded. She had 
seen little of society, and her wardrobe at 
this time was less valuable than Sally's, but 
she was ambitious of wealth and position, and 
envious of any one who surpassed her. She 
received the new-comers with a kind of cold- 
ness and severity, which made Sally feel that 
she would find in her the exacting mistress, 
rather than the sympathizing friend. Sally 
had never been more utterly wretched than 
when she lay down that n«ight. A dreadful 
home-sickness, which she had not felt with 
the Lelands, weighed upon her heart. Spring 
was coming on. The leaf-buds were swelling, 
the woods were full of singing birds, and the 
winds were soft and balmy ; but as she looked 
out in the moonlight upon the log-cabins, and 
the newty-cleared fields, and the broad forests 
beyond them, she sighed for the comely streets 
of Fayetteville, and was only oppressed by 
the untamed loveliness of Alabama. 

She had been purchased for a seamstress, 
and the next morning early her mistress 
brought her a shirt to make; but she had 



i44 A¥NT SALLY. 



nad so much physical and mental suifermg 
since her old sewing days in Carolina, that 
she had quite lost her former skill. Fearful 
of reproof, she tried to fit the pieces together, 
but her hands trembled, and she was so weak 
and bewildered that she gave up in despair. 
Her mistress was watching her, and after a 
few minutes she saw her go to the door and 
beckon to her husband, who was standing 
without. 

"Just come in here, Mr. Cone," said she, 
" Leland has cheated you. You bought Sally 
for a seamstress, and she can't even make a 
shirt." 

" Oh ! missus," said Sally, ". 'pears like I'se 
forgot all I knew. Dere was n't no woman o* 
my color could make shirts, an' pantaloons, 
an' dresses, better dan I, but 'pears like I's6 
lost my senses." 

" It 's doubtful if you ever had any," said 
Mrs. Cone, in an angry voice. 

" Come, come, wife," said her husband, 
11 perhaps Sally '11 do better after a while. 
There 's other work enough ; the garden 
wants hoeing and weeding — let her come 
cut doors." 

The shirt was laid asi£o, and Sally, glad to 



AUNT SALLY. 145 



escape from her mistress' eye, followed her 
master to the garden. Mr. Cone was prepar- 
ing to build a frame house, and stumps were 
to be torn up, and brushwood was to be 
cleared away, and the ground to be leveled 
about the place. At all this Sally worked 
for the next three months, gradually gaining 
strength of body in the open air, but with the 
same sickness and despair at heart. Perhaps 
it was well for her that she had daily tasks 
to perform, so that her thoughts in working 
hours were necessarily occupied, but when 
night came, the memory of her griefs came 
with it. "Oh," said she, "I allers cried my- 
self to sleep in dem days, an' dreamed all 
night 'bout de ole home an' de chil'en." 

Mrs. Cone's cook was " Aunt Eve," an old 
woman who had had quite a fame in the kitch- 
en in her younger days, and in consequence 
had grown very vain and tenacious of her 
position. She was now getting old and in- 
competent. Her mistress was much dissatis- 
fied, and hardly a meal passed without com- 
plaints on her part, and resolves to make a 
change. One day, when some articles of food 
came on to the table wholly spoiled, and Mrs. 
Cone was questioning, as usual, what she 
10 



146 AUNT SALLY. 



should do, her husband said, "Why dor't 
you try Sally? she 's used to cooking." 

"I never thought of it. I've had no pa- 
tience with her since she spoiled that shirt. 
She looks so solemn, and makes herself so 
smart in her calico dress Sundays, that I 
don't take to her much." 

" Well, you 'd better try her. Eve's rules 
are good enough, and she can show her how." 

So Sally was placed in the kitchen to do the 
cooking according to Eve's directions. The 
old woman regarded it as an infringement 
upon her rights, and revenged herself by 
treating Sally in the most capricious and pro- 
voking manner. Sometimes she would refuse 
to tell her what she asked — sometimes she 
would give her wrong measures, and so it 
came to pass that Sally's cooking was even 
less-satisfactory than Eve's. " Dis made missis 
angry," said Sally, " an' she 'd come in de kitch- 
en an' scold me, an' crack me over de head, 
an' den Eve would be glad, an' would n't tell 
me nothin', an' 'peared like I did worse all de 
time. Oh, how I cried every night, an' wished 
I could die 'fore de next mornin'. I thought 
then sure de Lord had cast me off. I did n't 
take no pains to look nice, like I used to, nor 



AUNT SALLY. 147 



to have my room neat. I did n't care for 
nothin'. One night when I sot a crying, Eliza 
Freeman — she married masr's nephew — she 
come to my cabin, an' says she, " Sally, I'm 
going to give you some pieces of calico to 
make you a bedspread, and I advise you to 
rouse yourself up, and try to be cheerful. Lay 
down North Carolina and take up Alabama; if 
you do n't, 3^011 '11 have a poor miserable time 
of it, any way." Well, arter she went out, I 
pondered on it, an' I thought p'raps I was to 
blame to grieve so, and p'raps de Lord had n't 
forsook me, more'n I'd forsook de Lord, an' I 
made up my mind, with His help, to try an' 
bar de cross, an' begin new from dat hour to 
serve Him. So I got up an' made de bed, and 
clar'd up de room, an' den I knelt down an' 
prayed to de Lord to be with me, an' never 
leave me any more. An' 'peared like He 
heard me, an' come down an' stood by me, an' 
said, ' Sally, I will.' An' den I felt happy for 
de first time since I left my ole home. 

" The next mornin' missis sent for me, an' 
says she, 'Sally, how is it you do n't make 
things to suit me any better V An' says I, < I 
dunno, missis. I tries hard enough to do jes' 
like Eve tells me.' 



148 AUNT SALLY. 



" 'Well, how did you use to do in Carolina?' 

« t Why, I had my own measures, an' fol- 
lowed my own ways.' 

" ' Well.' says she, ' I want you to let Eve 
alone, and follow your own ways now.' 

" I thought this was a great privilege, for 
de ole lady was mighty contrary. De next 
mornin' while I was gettin' de breakfast, Aunt 
Eve come in, an' begun to order me about, an' 
says I, ' Missis said I was to lay down your 
rules, an' pick up mine.' Then she was mad, 
an' went and told missis I 'd sarsed her, and 
missis called me, an' says she, ' Sally, what 
did you say to Aunt Eve ? ' An' says I, ' Mis- 
sis, I told her you said I was to lay down her 
rules, an' pick up mine.' ' Well,' says she, ' I 
just called you so Eve might know you are 
not to follow her ways any longer.' So I got 
breakfast, an' it suited, an' den I got dinner, 
an' dat suited, and when mas'r come home, 
missis told him Sally had took new rules, and 
now she thought she could please her. So 
things went on pretty well." 



AUNT SALLY. 149 



CHAPTER XIV. 

THE LASH FLIGHT AND RETURN". 

As she lay, all faint, on the swampy moss, 

She heard the hound's deep bay, 
And the loud halloo and the answering shout, 

Waver and die away. 

She had no fear of the snake below, 

Nor the poisonous vine o'erhead, 
But she shrank from her master's angry eyes, 

And her mistress' words of dread. 

And so she lay on the swampy moss, 

All through the summer day, 
And heard the bay and the loud halloo 

Waver, and die away. 

Old Aunt Eve was full of vexation to see 
Sally promoted and herself set aside as use- 
less, where once she had been supreme. All 
her life had been spent on an isolated planta- 
tion ; she had had no religious influences to 
soften her heart ; the only instruction she 
had ever received had been in relation to her 
cooking, and her naturally violent temper had 
grown harsher and sourer with advancing 
age. She envied and hated her new rival, 



150 AUNT SALLY. 



and longed for some opportunity of revenge. 
She had hardly clothes enough to make her- 
self decent, and Sally, in kindness, gave her 
several articles from her own store. She had 
heard the story of Sally's checked apron, her 
mother's parting gift, and one day, seeing it 
drying upon the line, she secretly pulled it 
down, and not daring to wear it herself, 
secreted it, for a time, and then gave it away 
to one of her acquaintances. Sally was deeply 
grieved at its loss, but it was not till long 
afterward that she knew who had stolen it. 
In the neighborhood where the Cones lived, 
religious services were held only once a month, 
and then in a small church, about four miles 
from the plantation. On one of these fortu- 
nate Sabbaths, when Sally had lived about a 
year with her new master, her mistress called 
her to her room and told her she was going 
to church, and expected to bring some friends 
home to dinner with her; and wished her, 
therefore, to prepare every thing in the best 
possible manner. Pleased with her mistress' 
apparent confidence in her ability, Sally went 
to the kitchen, and having put all her cook- 
ing arrangements in the right train, she 
returned to the house, the new one which 



AUNT SALLY. 151 



had been recently completed, and, going into 
the dining-room, began to set the table as she 
had seen it done in North Carolina. Mrs. 
Cone was very desirous to attain to that style 
of living which characterized the best fam- 
ilies in the vicinity. When she moved into 
her house she had purchased many new 
articles of furniture — among them a complete 
dinner-set of blue ware. This was the first 
day it had been used, and Sally, who had 
a natural taste and skill for such things, 
arranged it all to the best advantage. As 
she was patting the finishing touches to the 
table, Aunt Eve, who had been watching her 
from behind the door, thrust her head into 
the room, and with a malignant scowl, ex- 
claimed, " Laws, now ! s'pose you think dat 's 
mighty nice. S'pose you think we never seed 
nothin' afore. Folks knows as much here as 
dey does in Car'lina, any day." 

"I was only tryin' to please missis," said 
Sally, as Eve went out, slamming the door 
behind her. 

And "missis" was pleased. Her guests 
complimented the dinner, and for the first 
time she spoke approvingly to Sally. Eve 
was listening in the hall, and her mistress' 



152 AUNT SALLY. 



words of praise rankled in her heart. How 
should she revenge herself? She thought 2 
moment, and then stealing slily up stairs to 
Mrs. Cone's room, she took a piece of chintz 
calico which was lying there, and pushing it 
far out of sight behind the bureau, crept softly 
down again, and looked to see if she could 
find her mistress alone; but she had gone 
back to her company and was occupied with 
them until late in the evening. Eve did not 
abandon her cruel purpose, however, but early 
Monday morning she went to her mistress* 
and told her that the day before, while she 
was away at church, she saw Sally go to her 
room and take the chintz calico and carry it 
oif with ner. t Mrs. Cone was angry in a mo- 
ment. All her old prejudices against Sally 
revived. Without considering that Eve might 
have told an untruth, she ascertained that the 
calico had really disappeared, and then, in a 
violent passion, despatched a messenger for 
Sally and for her husband. Mr. Cone was as 
much enraged as his wife, when he heard what 
had happened, and, in spite of Sally's pro- 
testations of innocence, he took her into an 
old out-building, and tying her to a horse- 



AUNT SALLY. 153 



block, told her he should whip her till she 
confessed where she had hid it. 

"Den," said Sally, " if he gin me five lashes, 
he gin me five hundred, till I told him if he 'd 




stop whippin' me, I 'd get de calico', though I 
didn't know for de life o' me whar 'twas. 
So I ran over to his mother's, she lived in a 
little house near by, an' asked ■ her what I 
should do. Sez she, Sally, I dunno what in 



154 AUNT SALLY. 



the world 's the matter with him. I believe 
Polly (dat was de name of mas'r's wife) has 
hid it herself.' But I knew I darsn't say no 
sich thing, so I run for de swamp. Dey 
missed me, and started out wid de dogs, but 
dey went up de road an' I went down, an' so 
dey didn't see me." 

Poor soul ! Just as she had begun to hope, 
for more peaceful days, this new affliction 
came upon her. But she had resolved, come 
what would, that she would never doubt or 
distrust her God again, and now, as she 
plunged into the darkest recesses of the 
swamp, with her back all bleeding from its 
wounds, she poured out her whole soul to 
Him in earnest prayer for comfort and direc- 
tion. 

It was yet early morning. The trees were 
dripping like rain with dews of the night. 
The magnolia, the dogwood, and the wild 
jessamine, the honeysuckle, and a thousand 
other flowers, made the air heavy with fra- 
grance ; and strange-looking poisonous vines, 
with brilliant orange flowers, clambered from 
tree to tree, and almost wove the branches 
together. Sally sought the most secluded 
spot, and, sitting down, leaned for support 



AUNT SALLY. 155 



against the trunk of a tree. In the distance 
she heard the deep baying of the dogs and 
the occasional call of her pursuers, but as 
they were going in an opposite direction, the 
sounds at length died away, and only the 
songs of birds and the rustle of leaves awoke 
the silence. She was in such an agony of 
pain that she could not think clearly, and so 
she lay in a kind of stupor, while the hot 
hours of noon went by. The dimness of 
twilight was setting upon the swamp when 
she roused herself and began to reflect upon 
her condition. She could not hope to remain 
long concealed, and even if she could, she had 
no means of sustaining life; she was con- 
scious of her innocence, and she had faith 
that God would protect her, and so she re- 
solved to find her way back to her master, 
But she was quite bewildered. She knew not 
which way to take to reach the open country. 
Just then she heard the tinkling of a bell, and 
looking up, she saw a horse a little distance 
from her. The bell was suspended from his 
neck, and he had evidently strayed away 
from pasture. The thought struck her that 
by following him she might find her way to 
the road and so she commenced driving him, 



156 AUNT SALLY. 



but taking care to let him go in the direction 
he chose. A little distance, and the firm 
ground was gained, and then a path which 
led to the highway. She was so stiff and 
sore from her wounds that it was with diffi- 
culty she could move, and when she came to 
a little brook, she stooped down and bathed 
her back in the cool water, and wetting her 
handkerchief that she wore, pinned it again 
over her shoulders. The day had been in- 
tensely warm, and now the thunder began to 
mutter in the sky, and the big drops of rain 
began to fall, and soon there was a drenching 
shower. But the horse went on and Sally 
followed, till at length they came to a small 
house by the road side. Hearing the bell, 
the occupant, a white man, came out and 
secured the horse, and seeing Sally, asked her 
where she came from. She dared not tell 
him the truth, and so said that mas'r Cone 
had sent for her to come and do some sewing 
at his house, but that in trying to go there 
she had lost her way. "Why," said the man, 
" you 're ten miles out of your course, but 
you can stay in the barn here to-night, and 
to-morrow morning I '11 put you in the right 
road." So she went into the barn, thankful 



AUNT SALLY. 157 



for any shelter, but her back was so bruised 
and mangled that she could not lie down. All 
that weary night she sat up, tormented by 
pain, and waiting with fearful anticipation 
until the dawn of day. 

True to his word, in the morning the man 
called her, and, taking her into an open 
wagon, drove for several miles in an easterly 
direction, and then, stopping where two roads 
met, he helped her to dismount, saying, " This 
is Mr. Johnson's plantation, and the next is 
Mr. Cones's. Follow your right-hand road, 
and three miles will take you there." Sally 
thanked him from her heart, and he Tode 
away. 

Among the slaves on Mr. Johnson's planta- 
tion, was an old man called " Uncle Joe," who 
was famous with the negroes for his kind- 
ness and tact when any one of them was in 
trouble. Sally had often heard of him, and 
to his cabin, which stood a little apart from 
the rest, she now directed her steps. He was 
at home, for on account of his age he was 
excused from much active labor. Sally told 
him her story without reserve, and asked 
him what she had best do. He gave her 
some food, of which she was greatly in need, 



158 AUNT SALLY. 



and advised her to remain in his cabin for 
the day, and at night to make her way to- 
ward home. His wife dressed her wounds, 
and did all that sympathy could do to inspire 
her with courage. They were godly people — 
this aged slave couple ; they had seen much 
of sorrow, but through the Lord they had 
triumphed over all. Sally took sweet counsel 
with them of the things of heaven, and before 
they parted they prayed together, and then 
sung one of those hymns, full of repetition, 
so meaningless when written, but so eloquent 
to the sensitive negro heart when sung: 

" Oh, when I 'm in trouble here, 
Lord, when I'm m trouble here, 

Give me Jesus ! Give me Jesus ! 
You who will may have dis world — 
Give me Jesus ! 

"Oh, when I've an hour of peace, 
Lord, when I 've an hour of peace, 
Give me Jesus ! Give me Jesus ! 
He 's the only friend I want, 
Give me Jesus ! 

" Oh, when I 'm a-going to die, 
Lord, when I 'm a-going to die, 

Give me Jesus! Give me Jesus! 
Over Jordan glad to go, 
Give me Jesus I " 



AUNT SALLY. 159 



Sally bid her kind friends farewell at 
evening, but as she walked along, she could 
not make up her mind to go directly home. 
The church was about half a mile away, and 
to it she bent her steps. When she reached 
it it was dark and silent, but darkness and 
silence had no terrors for her, and she went 
in and sat down to rest herself, and to try to 
sleep, feeling that for the time she was secure 
from danger. The night passed, and the morn- 
ing came. She half resolved to go boldly 
home, and then her fear overcame her reso- 
lution, and so, fluctuating between determi- 
nations and misgivings, the day wore away. 
About noon, some wagoners encamped near 
the church, and, making a fire, cooked their 
dinner there. Faint with hunger, Sally 
watched them, and after nightfall, she stole 
out to see if they had left any remnants of 
their meal. In the ashes she found several 
half roasted potatoes, which she eagerly ate, 
and, feeling strengthened, she decided, Avith 
the first morning light to go straight to her 
master. 

"With the earliest ray in the east she com- 
menced her walk, and the sun had not yet 
risen when she came in sight of the dwelling. 



ICO AUNT SALLY. 



Concealing herself behind a tree in the yard, 
till some friendly servant should appear, by 
whom she could send word to her master, of 
her arrival, she prayed God to help her, and 
to "prepare the way " before her. In a few 
minutes, she saw Martin, the waiter, going 
toward the house with some kindling wood in 
his hands. He was a good-natured fellow, 
and she at once came forward and spoke to 
him. How thankful was she when he told 
her their mistress had found the calico behind 
the bureau the day after she ran away ! 

Her fear was gone and she stepped boldly 
into the house with Martin, who went to his 
master's door and told him Sally had come. 
Mr. Cone came quickly out, and Sally, brave 
in her innocence, stood there, erect as she 
might with her wounded shoulders, to receive 
him. All trace of anger had gone from his 
face ; he was even embarrassed as he ad- 
vanced to meet her. 

" I am glad to see you again, Sally. Where 
have you been all this time?" 

Sally was afraid to say she had received 
any assistance from a slave, because she knew 
they would be severely punished if their 



AUNT SALLY. 161 



kindness was known, so, praying God to for- 
give the falsehood, she replied, 

" I stayed in de church, mas'r, an' some 
wagoners give me something to eat." 

Just then Mrs. Cone came into the room. 
She knew the fault had been hers in accusing 
Sally so hastily, but she was too proud and 
willful to acknowledge it, and so did not 
speak. 

" Wife," said Mr. Cone, " I 'm mighty sorry 
for this, and I tell you I '11 sell Sally before 
I '11 ever whip her again." 

So she was dismissed tc her cabin without 
a word. 



II 



162 AUNT SALLY. 



CHAPTER XV. 

THE TYRANNICAL MISTRESS A SLAVE'S SABEATH. 

CrRANT me strength, oh Lord, I pray, 
For the burdens of the day; 
Let me leave to-morrow's sighs, 
Till to-morrow's sun shall rise. 

How, I know not, yet I feel, 
Though Thou dost Thy face conceal, 
Tenderest eyes are on me bent, 
From the azure firmament, 

And will watch me all the way, 
Till the dawn of heaven's own day; 
Till my life shall be begun, 
Where they need nor moon nor sun ! 

For three weeks Sally was unable to lie 
down in bed, on account of the severe blows 
she had received at her whipping, and she 
was excused by her mistress from cooking, 
but at the end of that time she was thought 
well enough to resume her usual duties. All 
the cooking for the house was to be done by 
her, and, in addition to this, she had her daily 
task of sewing on the shirts and trowsers for 
the slaves. This she often had to do at night, 
by the light of the fire, when her day's house 



AUNT SALLY. 163 



work was over. Sally's was no well-ordered 
northern kitchen, stocked with conveniences. 
It was a small cabin of one apartment, in the 
rear of her master's house. At one end was 
the fireplace, but about as much smoke settled 
down in the room as went up the chimney. 
She had very few cooking utensils, and was 
obliged to use the same kettle and the same 
spoon for half a dozen different purposes. 
Hurrying from morning till night, broiling 
over the fire or busy at her needle, her weeks 
went by. To make her labor yet harder, she 
had to cut her own fuel and to carry it frOm 
the woods to the house, often doing it at night 
and to bring all the water she used from a 
spring some distance away. 

Mr. Cone was prospering in the world, and 
his wife spared no pains to improve in their 
style of living. She began to require more 
elaborately prepared meals, and poor Sally 
was taxed to the utmost to accomplish all 
which was expected of her. Every day, in 
her little kitchen, she made delicious pies and 
cakes for " the house," but she was never al- 
lowed to taste them — if she did, she was sure 
to be whipped for it by her mistress. Mrs. 
Cone was not above using the whip with her 



164 AUNT SALLY. 



own hands when anything offended her, and 
as Sally had been legally made over to her at 
the time of her purchase, she felt that she had 
a peculiar right to control her as she pleased. 
Sometimes she would make the women whip 
each other, but they soon learned to make 
seemingly heavy blows very light. Sally had 
always had tea and coffee and sugar in Fay- 
etteville, and now it was very hard for her to 
be deprived of them when her labor was so se- 
vere. Sometimes, when the breakfast was unu- 
sually nice, her mistress would send her a cup 
of coffee, but this was not often ; and so she sat 
up at night to knit and to do little odd jobs of 
sewing, that she might earn money enough to 
purchase these luxuries for herself. Mrs. Cone 
had had for years a habit of occasionally drink- 
ing brandy. As she grew older, her desire 
for it increased. Unknown to her husband, 
she kept it always in her closet, and although 
she never became intoxicated, she often drank 
so much as to be very irritable and unreason- 
able. When at length her husband discovered 
it, he was greatly grieved. He was a member 
of the church and of the temperance society, 
but he could not control his wife, for she would 
send slyly for brandy by the servants, who 



AUNT SALLY. 165 



dared not disobey missis' orders ; and so, 
when he saw that she was under its influence, 
he would shut himself up in his room, and 
sometimes ride over to his plantation and stay 
for days together. So Sally was left to the 
entire control of a woman always cold-hearted 
and exacting, and at times tyrannical and 
cruel. Shut out from sympathy and friends, 
with nothing before her but thankless, mo- 
notonous toil, to what did she turn for com- 
fort? — for the heart lives by loving, and must 
find rest somewhere. It was to God that she 
looked. One by one her earthly supports had 
been taken away, and she had learned to live 
by faith in the Invisible. Day by day, in her 
simple way, she was living out the truth of 
those texts which higher and more cultivated 
natures find it so difficult to receive and to 
practice, " Pray without ceasing," and " Suffi- 
cient unto the day is the evil thereof." 

" Every mornin'," said she, " I asked do 
Lord to go with me through de day — to help 
me make de pies an' cakes, an' to show me 
how to please missis, an' den I felt contented, 
whether I was whipped or not." 

Had Sally forgotten the past, that she was 
thus quiet in the present ? Oh, no ! Sh© 



166 AUNT SALLY. 



never laid her weary head upon her pillow 
without thinking of her mother, and her hus- 
band, and her children, and praying God to 
bless them wherever they were, and to unite 
them to her in the u New Jerusalem." In 
this world she never thought again to see 
them. 

Sally grieved most for the pleasant Fayette- 
ville Sundays, when, with her family about 
her, she had gone to church and heard the 
Bible read, and the singing, and the sermon. 
Sunday on an Alabama plantation was a very 
different thing. All the servants who worked 
at a distance came home on that day to see 
their wives and families. Tired out with the 
labor of the week, it was, notwithstanding, 
the only time they had in which to do any 
thing for themselves. They were required to 
keep their clothes clean, and this was the only 
day on which they could wash them. Then 
those who had a patch of ground given them 
to cultivate, wanted this time to work upon it. 
Some took the oj)portunity to go fishing, keep- 
ing part of the fish they caught as a treat for 
themselves, and selling the rest to their mis- 
tress to obtain a little money for buying fiour 
or molasses. But most of them were too tired 



ADi> T T SALLY. 167 



to work, and would throw themselves down 
anywhere upon the ground, and sleep through 
the day like so many dogs. Bred to nothing 
but physical exercise — having only their ani- 
mal nature cultivated, and constantly over- 
tasked, what else could be expected? When 
they finished their work early enough on 
Saturday evenings, they sometimes had a 
prayer-meeting in a grove at a little distance 
from the house. Sally could not attend this, 
nor the meeting on Sunday morning, " But 
gen'ally," said she, " I could get about half 
an hour to go down to de afternoon meetin', 
when de folks was at dinner. We did n't 
have any preacher dere who knew how to 
read, our deacon could n't read a word, but 
'peared like he allers knew what to say. I 
know he talked right well, for I used to notice 
when I went to de church, an' 'peared like he 
talked just as de minister did. Den, after he'd 
exhorted, I 'd have to go away, so they 'd sing 
some far'well hymns, and den I 'd go back to 
de house. Dis yer was one of de hymns I 
loved to sing : 

u 'I have a place in Paradise 
To praise the Lord in glory ; 



168 AUNT SALL7. 



0, sister ! will you meet me there 

To praise the Lord in glory ? 
By the grace of God I '11 meet you there, 

To praise the Lord in glory. 

" { The blessed hour, it soon will come, 

To praise the Lord in glory ; 
Oh, brother ! will you meet me there 

To praise the Lord in glory ? 
By the grace of God I '11 meet you there 

To praise the Lord in glory.' " 

Sally had joined the Baptist church soon 
after she was purchased by Mr. Cone, but she 
was never allowed to attend the services ex- 
cept on Sacrament Sundays, when her master 
insisted that this privilege should be granted 
her. The church was several miles away, 
and she had to make such haste in going and 
coming, on account of the dinner, that these 
were to her the most tiresome days of the 
year. 

Sabbath afternoon was the favorite time for 
training dogs to hunt negroes. When not in 
use, the dogs were always kept chained, and 
no colored person was allowed to speak to 
them, or to feed them, under the penalty of 
a severe whipping. At training times, the 
dogs were let loose, and put on the track of a 



AUNT SALLY. 169 



little negro boy, who was made to climb a 
tree. When they could trace him unerringly 
to his place of concealment, they were con- 
sidered trained. 

Such sights as this greeted Sally on the 
Sabbath. Every evening in the week there 
were family prayers at the house, which were 
free to all the servants. Sally. longed to listen 
to the Bible, and she always went, excepting 
when her mistress had treated her so harshly 
that she thought to hear her read would do 
her more harm than good. Thus, with very 
little change, year after year passed away. 
Mr. Cone's sons were growing up about him, 
one of them, Stanley, into an idle, dissolute 
young man. Sally had heard nothing from 
her children, but she continued to show to 
Charlotte Rives, now married to the coach- 
man, the kindness and care of a mother. 

"I had heaps 'o trouble, den," said Sally, "I 
didn't 'spect to get rid of it; I didn't look 
forward to nothin ; but Ijes' picked up de cross 
an' put it in my bosom, for de sake of de dear 
Lord who carried it for me so long ago ! " 



170 AUNT SALLY. 



CHAPTER XVI. 

NEWS FROM A LONG-LOST SON. 

Thank God! he lives, my precious boy! 

The world can give no purer joy ! 

He breathes the air that 's breathed by me— 

The sun shines on him — he is free ! 

But let him roam where'er he will, 

He is my boy, my darling still; 

And the same God who hears my prayer, 

Will hear him, watch him everywhere — 

The Slave, the Free — my faith is dim, 

But heaven 's as near to me as him; 

And every day, though foul or fair, 

We're drawing nearer, nearer there! 

Sally had now lived twenty years with 
the Cones. She had been so accustomed to 
her life there, that her earlier days seemed to 
her vague and shadowy as a dream. In all 
this time she had heard nothing from her 
mother or her children ; she only knew that 
h.er husband, Lewis Beggs, was dead. She 
thought of them, she prayed for them, but it 
was almost as for those long since passed out 
of life. It was rare in that region for a slave 
to escape in any way from bondage. She 



AUNT SALLY. 171 



never looked forward to this. Death was to 
her the gate of freedom and the beginning 
of joy. 

During all these years she had been but 
two or three times absent from the plantation, 
and then by special permission. Her mis- 
tress had often been solicited by visitors at 
the house, to let her go and teach their ser- 
vants her ways of cooking and arranging 
tables, but she always refused upon some 
pretext or other. About this time there was 
to be a merry-making at a wedding among 
the slaves on an adjoining plantation, and 
Sally was invited to be present. Her mis- 
tress chanced to be in a pleasant mood, and 
bo gave her leave to go. Delighted with the 
thought of a holiday, Sally made haste to 
finish her work, and a little before dark on 
the evening of the appointed day, arrayed in 
a clean gown and turban, and with her ''pass" 
in her hand, she set out with the other ser- 
vants on her way to " Mas'r Blake's." When 
they reached there they found quite a com- 
pany assembled, the younger people dancing 
to the music of a violin. Sally was glad to 
see all her acquaintances, but she had no 
heart for such merriment, so she retired to 



172 AUNT SALLY. 



the farther corner of the room. She soon 
noticed, sitting apart from the rest, a forlorn 
looking man, in torn, rough clothes, to whom 
no one seemed to pay any attention. Her 
kind heart was moved with compassion, and 
she took up her chair and sat down beside 
him, and began to talk to him. 

" Good evenin' ! 'Pears like you 're a stran- 
ger here. Whar d 'ye come from ? " 

" I come from de Car'lina rice fields.' 

"Laws nowl Dat's whar I was raised. 
Mebbe ye knows some o' my folks. Did ye 
ever hear o' de Williamses ? " 

" Why, sartain I did. Dere 's one o' 'em, 
Mary Ann Williams, dat lives in Mobile. I 
knows her right well." 

"Laws! Ye don't say! Why she's my 
own cousin, but I haint seen her dis thirty 
year. What she doin' dere, an' how come 
you to know her ? " 

" Wal, ye see she 's got a good master, an' she 
hires her time an' takes in sewing an' makes 
well on 't. I goes on de river, an' I heern tell 
of her, how she come from de rice-fields, an* 
nat'ally when I goes to Mobile, I goes to seo 
her, an' we talks 'bout de ole places." y 



AUNT SALLY. 173 



"To be sure! to be sure! When '11 ye be 
gwine back?" 

" I 'specs de boat '11 go to-morrow mornin'. 
"We run smash 'gin anoder boat dis arternoon, 
an' we 's jes' waitin' till dey can 'pair her. 
Dat 's de way I come to be here." 

" Would ye take a little bundle for me to 
Mary Ann?" 

" Sartain I will, an' I '11 go 'long wid ye now 
an' get it." 

The interest of the party was all over to 
Sally, so getting up quietly she went out. 

Among Mr. Cone's servants was a boy about 
fifteen years of age, called Nero, who had 
always manifested for Sally the affection of a 
son. He was remarkably sprightly and intel- 
ligent, and, secretly, getting one idea here, 
and another there, he had taught himself to 
read with a good degree of ease, and to write 
a tolerably fair hand. Sally's plan was to get 
him to write a letter for her, so she beckoned 
to him, and, taking him aside, told him what 
she wanted. He was delighted to do it for 
her, and the three were soon on their way to 
Mr. Cone's. Arrived at her cabin, Sally kin- 
dled a little blaze on the hearth, while Nero 
produced from his store a pen and ink, and a 



174 AUNT SALLY. 



small piece of paper, and wrote the letter to 
her dictation. It suddenly occurred to her 
that Mary Ann might* have forgotten her, or 
would not feel sure that she had written the 
letter. What proof could she give her? 

When her mother came to bid her good-by 
at - the time she left Fayetteville, she had given 
Sally a small plaid shawl, which their old mis- 
tress Williams, the deaf and dumb lady, was 
accustomed to throw over her shoulders when 
she first rose in the morning, and which she 
had presented to Sally's mother. It was a 
singular-looking shawl, and she knew Mary 
Ann would remember it, and that it would 
serve to establish the identity of both. So 
she put it into a little parcel with the letter, 
and asked the boatman to give it to her 
cousin, and to return the shawl again to her, 
which he promised to do. 

When he had gone, Sally lay down and tried 
to sleep, but a thousand thoughts were in her 
mind. Hopes and desires which had slum- 
bered for twenty years waked to life. Her 
children, her friends, her early home, came 
back in memory, and the old home-sickness 
and longing filled her heart. She began to 
wonder if she could not go to Mobile *tnd see 



AUNT SALLY. 175 



her cousin with her own eyes, and resolved 
that she would speak to her mistress about it 
on the morrow, and so thinking, she fell asleep. 
When morning came, she thought it wisest 
to delay speaking to her mistress until she 
had actually heard from her cousin, and so 
she waited anxiously till the "Magnolia" 
should return, and the boatman bring her an 
answer to her letter ; and every day she 
prayed that, if it was God's will, she might 
not be disappointed. Two weeks passed, dur- 
ing which she heard nothing, and she had 
almost given up hope; but one night, about 
nine o'clock, as she sat half asleep by the fire, 
she was roused by a tapping at her door, and, 
opening it, there stood Daniel, the boatman, 
with a bundle and a letter from Mary Ann. 
Neither of them could read it, so Sally stole 
softly out for Nero. He was as pleased as she 
was to find that an answer had really been 
received. It was in Mary Ann's own unprac- 
ticed hand, and it was a long time before Nero 
could decipher it. It was a cordial letter, ex- 
pressing great joy that Sally was alive, and, 
too wonderful for belief, telling her that her 
son Isaac had some years before been in Mo- 
bile with his master ; that he had sought out 



176 AUNT SALLY. 



his cousin Mary Ann, and inquired earnestly 
of her for his mother ; and that since then he 
had written her that he had purchased his 
freedom and was a Methodist minister at the 
North ! 

Sally was quite overcome by this sudden 
and joyful news. Again and again she would 
have the letter read to her. She would hardly 
have believed its words had not the shawl 
been returned with it, with the message that 
she remembered the way their old mistress 
used to pin it on, and had not her cousin sent 
her also a new calico dress. It was like that 
older surprise when they told Jacob, saying, 

" Joseph is yet alive, and he is governor 
over all the land of Egypt. And Jacob's 
heart fainted, for he believed them not. And 
they told him all the words of Joseph which 
he had said unto them ; and when he saw the 
wagons which Joseph had sent to carry him, 
the spirit of Jacob, their father, revived, and 
he said, ' It is enough ; Joseph, my son, is yet 
alive ; I will go and see him before I die ! ' " 

When Daniel and Nero had left the cabin, 
and Sally was alone, she burst into tears of 
joy, and falling on her knees, thanked God for 
His great mercy, and consecrated herself anew 



AUNT SALLY. 177 



to Him. That her son was living was happi- 
ness enough — that he was a free man and a 
minister, quite outran her conceptions of good. 

There was nothing objectionable in her 
cousin's letter, so the next morning she car- 
ried it to her mistress, and while she read it, 
she said to her in a trembling tone, 

" Please missis, if you or Miss Eliza traveled 
on de boat as de ladies do, an' would take me 
with you down to Mobile, I should so like to 
see Mary Ann !" 

"No, Sally, I never travel." 

" Well, 'pears like, if you 'd let me go some- 
time?" 

"No, Sally, you can just give up thinking 
any thing more about it — it 's altogether too 
far from home." 

Sally took the letter, upon which no com- 
ment was made, and put it safely by; but 
sleeping or waking, the thought of it was ever 
present with her. " A few weeks after this," 
to use her own words, "I was a-getting sup- 
per, an' mas'r called me, an' I was scared, for 
I did n't know what was de matter. I tried 
to think if I had done anything, but thinks I, 
1 you 've got to go,' for mas'r was one of de 
men, if he told you he 'd whip you, he would. 



178 AUNT SALLY. 



"Well, I went in an' stood by his side, an' he 
had a paper in his hand, an' says he, 

" Sally, whar'd you live?" 

" Near Fayetteville, on Haymount Hill," 
says I. 

" Who were your neighbors?" 

So I told him. 

" What was your husband's name, and what 
was he sold for?" 

So I told him that, an' then says he, 

" Sally, here 's a letter from your son Isaac, 
sure ! " 

Well, I could hardly believe it ; but says he, 

" Sally, he wants to buy you. Now you 've 
paid for yourself many times over, and if you 
can get your mistress to give you up, you 
know you belong to her, I 'm willing." 

So I went right and spoke to mistress about 
it, an' says she, 

" Sally, it 's not my mind any way," an' 
then she 'd have nothing more said about it, 
only she was dreadful cross to me. Isaac 
kept writin' to mas'r, an' wanted me to tell 
him 'bout things dat happened when he was 
a boy, an' when I did, he wrote back dat he 
know'd 'twas his mother. Missis whipped 
me more 'n ever, 'cause she thought I 'd feel 



AUNT SALLY. 179 



kinder independent 'bout Isaac's wantin' to 
buy me. I was allers thinkin' 'bout it, but I 
did n't dare let missis know, an' when she 
spoke 'bout Isaac, I 'd say, 

"Poor fellow! he wants to see his mother, 
but I guess he never will." 

Mas'r was all de time tryin' to coax missis 
to give me up. One day we had company to 
dinner, an' missis was very happy with her 
chil'n round her, an' mas'r asked her 'fore all 
de gentlemen, if she did n't pity Sally when 
she wanted to see her son. I knew she 'd be 
mad, so I got out of the room as quick as I 
could, I was waitin' on de table, and prayed 
de Lord to soften her heart. Sometimes I 
gin up altogether. It was a consolation to 
me to think about de grave, an' I thought if 
my son did n't get me, I 'd be there to rise 
with 'em in the mornin'. 



180 AUNT SALLY. 



CHAPTER XYIT. 

THE LIGHT OP HOPE AT LAST. 

Out of the storm the rainbow comes; 

From midnight gloom the stars; 
The moon that silvers thousand homes, 

Climbs first o'er cloudy bars. 

And every morn 's the child of night; 

There is no other way; 
may this life, so void of light, 

Give birth to heaven's own day! 

it year, full of suspense and anxiety to 
Saify, passed away. Isaac wrote frequent 
letters to the Cones, begging them to name 
the price at which they would sell his mother. 
Mr. Cone would gladly have parted with her, 
but her mistress, to whom she belonged, was 
unwilling to lose so valuable a servant. Ever 
since she came there, Sally had lived in the 
little smoky kitchen, but now, in order to 
make her situation as pleasant as possible, 
her master built for her, in the yard, a small 
frame house with a brick chimney, and placed 
in its one large room several convenient arti- 
cles of furniture. She had still all the family 



AUNT SALLY. 181 



cooking to do, but she had better facilities for 
her work, and a good bed to sleep upon when 
it was over. She dared not speak to her 
mistress about her freedom, lest it should 
make her more determined not to release her. 
She felt that prayer was her only resource, 
and through the busy day and the quiet night, 
her thoughts went up to God in yearning sup- 
plication that He would soften her mistress' 
heart. As Mrs. Cone had grown older, she 
had become somewhat milder in character. 
She had been for years a member of the 
church ; and now, when Isaac's letters came, 
entreating her to sell his mother, she began 
to feel that perhaps it was her christian duty 
to consent. So she finally said her husband 
might write to him that she would part with 
Sally for four hundred dollars. She did not 
believe he could ever raise so large a sum, 
but she had quieted her conscience by naming 
a price. 

Isaac was now the pastor of a struggling 
church in Detroit, with a family dependent 
upon his exertions for their daily bread. It 
was long before he was able to do much 
toward collecting the money, but in this in- 
terval he wrote many letters of affectionate 



182 AUNT SALLY. 



cheer to his mother. Sally never despaired 
She had taken up her cross and carried it 
whithersoever her Lord had led her, and now 
she had faith to believe He would grant her 
this joyful crown. 

At length, Isaac raised the whole sum, and 
transmitted it, as had been narrated, to her 
master. 

" 'Fore de money come," said Sally, " I 
never said nothin' 'bout it. I was as still as 
a dumb creetur, but when I knew mas'r had 
really got it, den I felt independent." 

In the evening of the day upon which it 
was received, Sally was summoned to her 
mistress' room. " Hope deferred maketh the 
heart sick." She had become so nervous from 
the delay, that the least thing agitated her. 
Trembling she went in, and sat down in a 
chair which her master gave her. 

""Well, Sally," said he, "you're your own 
mistress now. There 's a letter from Isaac, 
with a check for four hundred dollars." 

" Oh, mas'r! de Lord be praised ! " 

"Why, Sally," broke in Mrs. Cone, "are 
you so glad to leave your old home?" 

" Oh ! missis, I 's sorry to leave you an' 
mas'r — you 's been good to me, an' 'pears 



AUNT SALLY. 183 



like I shall feel kind o' strange anywheres 
else ; but den, I 's goin' to see one o' my 
chil'en ! To think what de Lord has brought 
me to ! I thought I should carry de cross 
clar down to de river, an 1 now He 's given 
me de crown 'fore I gets to Jordan ! " 

"Well, Sally," said Mr. Cone, "I didn't 
think 't would come to this ; but I 'm glad 
for your sake. Isaac must be a fine fellow. 
You 're to go on the boat next week, in charge 
of a gentleman, all the way to New York, 
and there you '11 meet your son. He has sent 
you five dollars to buy a dress, or anything 
you may need for the journey ; and he handed 
her the money. 

Five dollars ! Sally had n't had half as 
much money in her possession since her old 
cake-selling days in Fayetteville. 

"Laws now, de dear boy," she exclaimed, 
(he was still to her the boy whom she had 
left twenty-five years before,) I 'spects he 
needs it himself; an' him sendin' all dis 
money to buy me. I shall take it to get 
something for him an' de chil'en ; " and bidding 
her master and mistress good night, she went 
to her house. 

The news of her freedom was already noised 



184 AUNT SALLY. 



abroad among the slaves, and she found quite 
a company awaiting her arrival. Twenty -five 
kind and blameless years had won for her the 
respect and affection of all her fellow-servants, 
and as she entered, they crowded around her ; 
and in their simple way, some with tears and 
ejaculations, and some with jokes and laugh- 
ter, they congratulated her upon her good 
fortune. 

"Oh, my friends," said Sally, " dis is more 
dan I ever 'pected. I hope de Lord '11 make 
me humble. I thought I should live and die 
with ye ; but 'pears like dere's something else 
for me to do. I mus' go whar de Master calls, 
but I shall never forget ye — never. We '11 
have a good meetin' together 'fore I goes 
away, but now ye mus' leave me alone with 
de Lord." 

Quietly they went out, and Sally's over- 
charged heart poured itself forth in thanks- 
giving to Him who had led her through such 
a wondrous gate of joy. All the bitter sor- 
rows of sixty years faded away, and her 
grateful thoughts dwelt only upon her unex- 
pected mercies. She forgot the unkind treat- 
ment of her mistress, and the trials from the 
servants when she first came to live with the 



AUNT SALLY. 185 



Cones; she loved them all, and remembered 
them- in her prayers. 

Mrs. Cone was much affected by the humil- 
ity with which Sally received the news of her 
freedom. She was sorry to part with one 
whose services were so valuable to her, for 
Sally, though sixty years old, was still strong 
and active ; and, more than this, she began to 
be troubled at the thought that she had not 
done her christian duty by her. These feel- 
ings disposed her to be very lenient now, so 
she allowed her to call on the neighboring la- 
dies to bid them good-by, and to sell her bed 
to one of them, (the feather-bed she had 
brought from Fayetteville,) and to keep the 
money for her own use. Sally was a favorite 
with the neighbors, and they gave her various 
articles of clothing as parting presents. She 
obtained permission also to send to town, and 
there, forgetful of self, she expended her five 
dollars in purchasing a stout pair of shoes for 
Isaac, and various gifts for his children. 
. It was the night before she was to leave 
Alabama. Her "free papers" were in her 
possession, her worldly goods were all packed 
in an old trunk her mistress had given her, 
and she sat in the center of her kitchen, sur» 



186 AUNT SALLY. 



rounded by Mr. Cone's servants and a few 
from a neighboring plantation, who had come 
to bid her farewell. They were all sorry to 
part with her, and longed to know more of 
that freedom to which she was going. For a 
moment a gloom seemed to overspread the 
circle, when one old woman exclaimed, 

" Well, Sally, arter all, de Lord's jes' as near 
to us here as He '11 be to you dere." 

" Yes, yes ! " said Sally, " dat 's de greates* 
comfort ; we never can lose de Lord. If we 
love Him, He '11 allers stay by." 

Then she spoke to each one separately, and 
shook them by the hand, and exhorted them 
to meet her in heaven. It was with sobs and 
tears that they sang this favorite farewell 
hymn : 

" Farewell, brother — farewell, sister — 
'T is the Lord that 's calling me, 
Never more shall I behold ye, 

Till we all his glory see 
In the new Jerusalem. 

Blessed Jesus ! 
In the new Jerusalem. 

" I have come through many perils, 
Foes without and foes within, 
And the fight will ne'er be ended, 
Till I 'm free from every sin 



AUNT SALLY. 187 



In the new Jerusalem. 

Blessed Jesus ! 
In the new Jerusalem. 

" Then when all our toils are ended, 
Gathered on that shining floor, 
We will praise our glorious Leader, 

Brother, Friend, for evermore, 
In the new Jerusalem. 

Blessed Jesus ! 
In the new Jerusalem. 

"Farewell, brother — farewell, sister — 
'T is the Lord that 's calling me, 
Never more shall I behold ye, 

Till we all His glory see 
In the new Jerusalem. 

Blessed Jesus ! 
In the new Jerusalem." 

Silently they went out, and Sally was left 
alone. As they crossed the yard, Nero sud- 
denly came up to one of the women and said, 
in a hurried whisper, 

" Oh, Aunt Sue ! has Sally gone?" 

" No, Nero ! but she 's a-gwine to-morrow 
mornin'. We's jes' been biddin' her good-by." 

" Dat 's good ; I was afeard I should n't see 
her agin. I stole away from de plantation, 
cause I know'd dey would n't let me come if 
I asked em." 



188 AUNT SALLY. 



" "Well, Nero ! I knows she '11 be glad to see 
ye. De Lord knows we 's all sorry 'nuff to 
have her go, but we could n't 'spect her to 
stay when her son's paid de money for her. 
Oh, dear ! dere was my Sam dat dey whipped 
to death 'cause he would try to run away. If 
he'd a lived, he'd a been jes' like Isaac. Oh 
dear, dear !" — and the poor creature went to 
her cabin, and ]STero tapped softly at Sally's 
door. 

" Bless de Lord ! Nero," said she, as she 
opened it, " I thought I should go away with- 
out seein' ye." 

"Oh, Sally ! 'pears like I can't have ye go 
noways. Dey sold me away from my mother, 
an' now dere's nobody dat cares for me but 
you." 

" Do n't take on so, Nero. I 's sorry to 
leave ye ; but de Lord 's in Alabama jes' as 
much as whar I 'm agoin'. You 's been very 
good to me, an' I never shall forget ye." 

" Sally, I do n't want to live here, I want to 
he free. When I think about it, 'pears like I 
can't stay here another day. Sometimes I 
almost conclude to run away, but dere ain't 
much chance for dat." 



AUNT SALLY. 189 



" Oh, Nero, ye mus' n't talk so. P'r'aps de 
Lord '11 prepar de way one o' clese days." 

" Why Sally, He 's let you live here sixty 
years." 

" Well, chile, I 's tried to bar de cross, an' 
now He's givin' me de crown, de crown o' 
joy. Lat 's what we mus' all do, an' den, if 
he sees best, He '11 give us de reward, even in 
dis world ; but if He do n't, we 's sure of it in 
de kingdom. 

11 1 '11 remember ye, an' when I gets to New 
York, I '11 tell de people 'bout ye, and mebbe 
dey'1-1 some on 'em buy ye. Keep up a good 
heart, an' the Lord be with ye ! " 

It was late, and afraid to stay longer, the 
poor boy tore himself away.* 

The night passed and the morning came. 
Sally was up with the sun, and assisted for 
the last time in preparing the family break- 
fast. When it was over, her mistress came 
into her house with a shawl over her shoul- 

* The boy, Nero, now nearly twenty years of age, is still 
living on the Alabama plantation, and doubtless yearn 
ing for freedom. According to Sally's account of him, 
he must possess unusual ability and excellence of cha- 
racter. 



190 AUNT SALLY. 



ders, and, accosting her very pleasantly, asked 
her to go out and take a walk with her. 

" Yes, missis," said Sally, and together they 
went out, her mistress leading the way, till 
they came to the fowl-yard, where she sat 
down upon a fallen board, and motioned Sally 
to sit beside her. 

Sally's meek and consistent course had had 
a deep effect upon Mrs. Cone. She was soft- 
ened and humbled by it, and now that she was 
about to leave her, she desired to make all the 
reparation in her power for the long years of 
indifference and severity. 

" Sally," said she, " I want you to pray with 
me before you go away, and I want to pray 
with you. We shall never see each other 
again." 

"No, missis," said Sally, "not in dis world, 
but I shall allers pray for you an' mas'r, an' 
all de chil'en." 

" Sally, if I 've ever done wrong by you, I 
hope you '11 forgive me." 

Sally was wholly overcome by these words 
of her mistress. She forgot all she had suf- 
fered. Her heart was full of love, and the 
tears ran down her cheeks as she exclaimed, 

" Oh, missis ! do n't talk so. You an' mas'r's 



AUNT SALLY. 191 



been kind to me. De blessed Jesus has to 
forgive us all. I '11 ask him to have mercy 
'pon us;" and kneeling down, she besought 
the Lord to bless her mistress and all those 
she was leaving. Mrs. Cone followed, and 
really subdued by the influence of the hour, 
she prayed for Sally as she had, perhaps, 
never prayed for herself. 

Such a prayer as dat was ! " said Sally, 
" 'peared like de blessings she asked for me 
dere followed me all de way." 

Together they went to the house, where the 
wagon was in waiting to convey Sally to the 
river, that she might be ready for the boat 
which was to take her to Mobile. Every 
thing was in readiness, and throwing her 
old cloak over her shoulders, for it was now 
December, she stepped into the wagon. 

"G-ood-by, Sally," said her master, as he 
shook her hand. 

"Good-by, mas'r; far'well, far'well, an' de 
Lord bless ye an' missis, an' all de rest — I 
loves ye all, an' hopes to meet ye above." 

The house servants were gathered about the 
door, and there was not one among all the 
company, master, mistress, or slave, who did 
not say, " God bless ye," as she drove away. 



192 AUNT SALLY. 



A last look at lier little cabin, " the house," 
and the fields around, and then feeling that 
all old ties were sundered, and that G-od alone 
was leading her, she bade adieu to the planta- 
tion for ever. 



CHAPTER XVIII. 

HOPE REALIZED. 

And in her arms she held at last 

The loved and lost of ye'ars, 
And clasped him to her bosom fast, 

While, 'mid her falling tears, 
She murmured softly, fondly o'er 

The name that in his youth he bore. 

And days of toil 'neath southern skies, 

And nights of bitter pain, 
Were recompensed as from her eyes, 

R.an down that blessed rain, — 
The while she murmured fondly o'er 

The name that in his youth he bore. 

On a bright morning in January, 1857, one 
of the employees of Adams' Express Com- 
pany entered the store, on Broadway, of the 
merchant who assisted Isaac in transmitting 
the money for his mother, and going up to 
the desk, presented a " bill of lading" to the 



AUNT SALLY. 193 



clerk, and asked if it was "all right?" The 
clerk handed it to the merchant, who exam- 
ined it for a moment, and then with an " All 
right, sir," gave it back again, ordering the 
amount to be paid. The expressman waited 
for the money, and then went out to his 
wagon before the door, where, amid bales and 
boxes, was one precious article of freight, 
consigned to the merchant's care, nothing 
less than Aunt Sally from the Alabama plan- 
tation ! 

There she sat, like one bewildered, amid the 
bustle and splendor of Broadway, looking 
first on this side and then on that, and peer- 
ing anxiously into the face of every colored 
ma*n who passed, as if she would fain descry 
the features of her son. The man assisted 
her to dismount, and the merchant, whose 
heart as well as whose influence, had been 
enlisted in her redemption, led the way into 
the store, and gave her a seat in the farthest 
corner, where she was soon surrounded by a 
group of eager listeners. As she walked up 
the long aisle between the laden counters, she 
might have been taken for a witch of eld, or 
a Meg Merrilies, so strange and grotesque was 
her appearance. Her shoes were of stout, 
13 



194 AUNT SALLY. 



undressed leather, such as is worn on the 
plantation; her gown, that hardly reached 
her ankles, was of linsey-woolsey; over her 
shoulders was thrown a long loose cloak, and 
round her head was wound a red and yellow 
Madras handkerchief, surmounted by a bon- 
net of erect crown and brim, probably some 
cast-off finery which her mistress had worn 
twenty years before. A most remarkable 
bonnet it was — one that would not have dis- 
graced Cripp's case of " Paris Styles," or Tiff's 
description of "dem roosts o' bonnets dey 
w'ars at camp meetin's." 

But Sally was all unconscious of the sensa- 
tion her appearance created, and earnestly 
inquired for her son. She seemed much dis- 
appointed when told that he was away from 
the city, and might not be home for several 
days. 

"Laws now!" she exclaimed; "I thought 
he 'd be de firs' one I should see when I got 
to New York." 

"Do you think you shall know him," Sally?" 

"Well, 'pears like J shall; but I dunno. He 
was a likely lookin' boy." 

The question arose as to how she should be 
disposed of till Isaac's arrival. She knew no 



AUNT SALLY. 195 



one, but begged to go where she could make 
herself in some way useful. A gentleman in 
the store, Mr. L., who lived in Brooklyn, said 
that his wife's cook left her that morning, and 
that if Sally chose to assist her, she might go 
home and remain with him. To this she 
gladly consented. Meanwhile she was be- 
coming accustomed to everything about her, 
and began to relate, with much ease and spirit, 
msiny of the incidents of her life. 

So the day passed, and at evening she went 
with Mr. L. to Brooklyn. She was kindly 
received by the family. A small room was 
given her for her own while she should stay, 
and she was told not to feel that she must rise 
early in the morning, but to consult her own 
pleasure about what she did. 

Who can describe her feelings as she lay 
down that night, for the first time feeling 
that she was a free woman in a free land? 
Think of it. Sixty years old, and her birth- 
right only just attained — more than half a 
century of toil and pain before she could feel 
that she had a right to herself! " Fore dis ; " 
said she, " I allers felt dat I belonged to mas'r. 
My hands was mas'r's — my feet was mas'r's— 



196 AUNT SALLY. 



I was all mas'r's, 'cept my heart — dat was de 
Lord's." 

Her thoughts were so full of prayer and 
praise that it was long before she could com- 
pose herself to sleep, and then it was but to 
renew in dreams the wonderful experiences 
through which she had passed. Awakened 
in the morning by the voices in the street, 
she thought it was her mistress calling her, 
and rose hastily, and commenced dressing 
herself, when she remembered where she was. 
But she did not lie down again. She went 
to the kitchen, and began to assist in the pre- 
parations for breakfast, uttering every few 
moments some exclamation of surprise at the 
conveniences of the house. "Laws now!" 
said she, " dis yer pump 's a mighty nice ting. 
"Wonder what my ole missis 'd say to it. Why, 
down dere we has to tote all de water from de 
spring. An' dis big pile o' wood all in de shed 
— I allers had to go way 'cross de field for de 
wood, an' never had no help 'cept when Nero 
cut a little sometimes. Poor boy ! Wish he 
could see dis yer. Den dat coal dat ye makes 
such a han'some fire with in de parlor — never 
seed no sich in Alabama. Laws ! folks is so 
curis up here." 



AUNT SALLY. 197 



The clay passed away, Sally spending most 
of it in the kitchen, assisting in the work of 
the family. " 'Pears like," said she, " dis is 
de place for me." Two or three times Mrs. L. 
called her to come up and sit with her, and 
tell her about her life at the South. She 
would go, but her thoughts were evidently on 
her son. She inquired anxiously what time 
Mr. L. would return from New York, and 
seemed impatient for the hour to arrive. At 
length he came, but it was alone. 

" Well, Sally," said he, " Isaac did n't come 
to-day ; perhaps you '11 see him to-morrow. 
But you must n't be discouraged. It '11 take 
some little time for him to collect money 
enough to carry you back to Detroit, where 
he lives." 

Sally tried to look cheerful, and asked him, 
as she had several times done before, to tell 
her how Isaac looked, and all that he had said 
about her. 

Thus more than a week passed away, dur- 
ing which nothing was heard from Isaac. 
Sally grew sadder and quieter with every day, 
and at last really seemed ill, and took to her 
bed. " At first," said Mrs. L., " she was con- 
stantly singing some of her favorite hymns, 



198 AUNT SALLY. 



whether at work or in her room, but at length 
the singing ceased altogether. I knew it was 
only from anxiety on account of her son, and 
I was almost as impatient for his coming as 
she was." 

Asking Sally, afterward, about this time of 
suspense, she said, 

" Dey was all kind to me. I tried to put 
my trust in de Lord, an' to think He'd bring 
it all out right, but at last, when I did n't 
hear nothin' from Isaac, I began to be afeard 
't was n't him dat sent de money, an' dat de 
speculators had got me agin." 

At length, when nearly two weeks had 
elapsed, Isaac returned from his visit to E"ew 
Haven and the vicinity, and went straight to 
the Broadway store to learn the news respect- 
ing his mother. When told that she had ar- 
rived, and was actually in Brooklyn, he was 
quite overcome, and felt as though he could 
hardly wait an hour to see her. 

" I will go to Brooklyn with you at three 
o'clock," said Mr. L. 3 " at three o'clock this 
afternoon." 

Isaac had some business still to attend to, 
so saying he would be back at that time, he 
went out. But his thoughts were all with his 



AUNT SALLY. 199 



mother, and five minutes before three, "by the 
Trinity church clock, he entered the store. 
He waited till he heard the bell strike the 
hour, and then going up to Mr. L., who was 
busy with some gentlemen, he said — " It is 
three o'clock, sir," thus reminding him of his 
appointment. Mr. L. remembered the engage- 
ment he had made, and in a few minutes the 
two were crossing the ferry to Brooklyn. He 
had a hundred questions to ask as to his 
mother's looks and appearance and conversa- 
tion, and seemed annoyed at every little delay 
of the boat or the cars upon which they went 
out to the avenue where Mr. L. resided. No 
wonder ! He was to see her from whom he 
had been separated for twenty-five weary 
years, and whom, much of the time, he had 
thought dead. .When they reached the house, 
Mr. L. took Isaac to the parlor, and gave him 
a seat, while he went to find Sally. She was 
up, and in the kitchen busily engaged in 
making custards for tea. He told her he 
wanted her to come up stairs and see some 
one who was waiting for her. She had almost 
ceased to look for Isaac, and as many of Mr. 
s friends had called to see her from sympa- 



200 AUNT SALLY. 



thy and curiosity, she supposed it was one 
of them, and answered, 

" Yes, sir, when I gets dese yer custards in 
the oven." 

" But, Sally, I want you to come now." 

So, all unthinking, she left the dish, took 
off her checked apron, put on her spectacles, 
and followed him up stairs. Daylight was 
growing dim in the curtained parlor, and the 
gas was not yet burning. Sally stood a mo- 
ment on the threshold, looking into the room, 
and then, all at once, the truth flashed upon 
her, and she sprang forward, exclaiming, " To 
be sure, to be sure, to be sure!" and clasped 
her son in her arms ! 

She held him tightly to her ; she patted him 
as if he had been an infant ; and when he 
could not speak, but only wept, she would 
say, 

" Do n't cry, Isaac, do n't cry. I prayed to 
de Lord dat I might n't cry." 

And he could only answer, 

" Oh, mother ! mother ! the Lord be praised !" 

Long they stood there, speaking not, but 
clasping each other as if they could never 
more be parted. By-and-by they sat down 
upon the sofa behind them, still holding each 



AUNT SALLY. 201 



other's hands, and began to talk of all their 
past. They were left undisturbed by the 
family, and it was late that night when Isaac, 
after repeated farewells, left the house to re- 
turn to New York. 

As soon as he was gone, Sally went to find 
Mr. and Mrs. L. 

"Laws now!" said she, "to think dat ar's 
my boy ! I allers thought de Lord had some- 
thin' for him to do, but I never 'spected he'd 
be such a gentleman, an' a preacher too — de 
Lord's been very good to me" — and bidding 
them good night, she went to her room. After 
the door was shut, they heard her singing one 
of her favorite hymns — 

" Come, saints and sinners, hear me tell 
The wonders of Immanuel, 
Who saved me from a burning hell, 
And brought my soul with him to dwell, 
And gave me heavenly union. 

Isaac had some friends among the colored 
people in New York, who were very desirous 
that he should bring his mother to stay with 
them, so the next day he came to Mrs. L.'s to 
take her away. Sally was glad to go any- 
where with him, but she was sorry to leave 
those who had been so kind to her, and ex- 



202 AUNT SALLY. 



pressed again and again to them her grati- 
tude. Mrs. L. made her a parting present of 
some spools of thread and some needles, with 
which she was much pleased. The story of 
her release was now noised abroad. She 
received many kindly attentions, and was 
invited to make various visits with her son. 
Among others, she came back to Brooklyn 
to spend a few days at the house of the gentle- 
man who had been instrumental in her re- 
demption, and it was there that the writer 
of this narrative first saw her. "We were 
sitting round the blazing fire, one cold Janu- 
ary evening, when the door-bell rung, and 
Sally and her son were ushered in. Perfectly 
black, with a face wholly negro in its charac- 
teristics, there was yet something command- 
ing in her appearance, as with majestic form 
and dignified bearing she entered the room, 
and, speaking to the circle with ease and pro- 
priety, took a seat by the fire. There was 
about her that repose and self-poise to which 
all polite culture aspires, but which, in her 
was the result of the inward teachings of the 
Spirit, and of a life of such suffering and pri- 
vation, that she had come to regard all 
earthly things as of little moment, and to look 



AUNT SALLY. 203 



forward with lively hope to the fruitions of 
the unseen. 

Her fantastic bonnet had given place to a 
close silk hood, and her awkward shoes, to a 
more elegant and comfortable pair; otherwise 
her dress was the same. And there, in that 
brightly lighted room, with the snow blowing 
against the panes without, she went over the 
story of her life, which has been reproduced, 
as nearly as possible in her own words, in 
these pages. It was wonderful, the entire 
absence of malice or revenge from her thoughts 
and words. She seemed to have forgiven all, 
and to love all, for the sake of her great mas- 
ter. Her simple piety, her ideas of self-sacri- 
fice, and entire submission to the divine will, 
reminded one of Madame Guyon's highest 
spiritual nights. 

The sabbath came, and Sally accompanied 
the family to Plymouth Church. While in 
New York, she had seen the Eev. Dr. 
Thompson, and was very desirous to hear him 
preach, but the Tabernacle was full the 
morning she went there, and she was unable 
to obtain a seat except so near the door that 
she could not hear the sermon. So now she 
was seated just beneath the platform, where 



204 AUNT SALLY. 



every word would be distinctly audible. She 
was a member of the Baptist church in Ala- 
bama, and had heard no preaching there, save 
now and then a sermon from the ministers of 
that persuasion. The deep tones of the organ 
and the singing of the hymns by the whole 
congregation, were quite new to her. The 
sermon was one of those lucid presentations 
of truth for which Mr. Beecher is remarkable, 
satisfying the most logical intellect, and yet 
apparent to the simplest heart. It was evi- 
dent that Sally lost not a word. Speaking of 
it when we reached home, " "Why," said she, 
" I used to think all churches but de Babtis' 
worshiped idols, but I jes' made up my mind 
when I heard dat ar sermon, dat I never 'd 
refuse gwine into no church agin, so long as 
I lived in dis low ground o' sorrow. It made 
me feel bad 'bout mas 'r. Tears like it 's 
impossible for mas 'r to get to heaven. He 
do n't cheat, nor tell lies, but den he do n't 
bring himself up to what de preacher said dis 
mornin'. Laws ! if I could a' heerd dat 
sermon down dere, sometimes, when I felt so 
bad! But den 'peared like de Lord Jesus 
talked to me, an' dat was best of all. Poor 
mas'r, I hopes he' 11 get to heaven. I won 't 



AUNT SALLY. 205 



judge no one. We's all got to be judged one 
o' dese mornin's." 

A moment, and she exclaimed, "What a 
'markable pra'r dat was ! So humble, so 
beggin', so coaxin', to every poor sinner. I 
took partie'lar notice o' dat ar pra'r. Den 
de singin' — it made me think o' de hymn. 

' We '11 join de forty thousand 
Upon de golden shore !' " 

Her expressions of surprise and delight at 
any elegances about the house were amusiug. 

" Why," said she, " I 'se seen more at de 
North dan I thought was in de world. If I 
should go back an' tell 'em 'bout it, dey 
would n't believe me. Wonder what missis 'd 
say to dis yer carpet, an' dem picters hangin' 
up dere? Well, dey 's all very nice, if ye do n't 
get yer hearts sot on 'em. Ye mus' n't do dat, 
'cause I 'specs dey aint notMrC to what we 
shall see in de New Jerusalem." 

There was a poor, indolent colored girl, who 
came occasionally to the house to beg. Sally 
was indignant that one who was well and able 
to work should live upon charity, and, feeliog 
that she had a right to speak to one of her 
own race, she went out to the side-gate where 



I, 

206 AUNT SALLY. 



the girl was in waiting, and reproved her 
severely for her mode of life. As for herself, 
she put her principles in practice, for although 
she was told to do only what she pleased, she 
chose to be busy, and asked the privilege 
of preparing for the table various palatable 
dishes which are peculiar to the South. 

Before she left, the lady of the house asked 
her to pray with her for her children, and she 
said it was affecting to hear her simple, earnest 
words, as she besought " de great Mas'r above 
to bless dis dear young missis an' her chil'n." 

Isaac's business was now done, his money 
collected, and he was anxious to take his 
mother to his home. She, too, was impatient 
to see his wife and children. They were de- 
tained some days longer than they intended 
by the violent snow-storms which rendered 
traveling difficult ; but, at length, with the 
blessings of all who had known them, they 
left New York for their home in Detroit. 

"Far'well, far'well," said Sally, as she went 
away ; " de Lord bless ye all for yer kind- 
ness to me, an' bring us all together agin in 
de kingdom ! " 



AUNT SALLY. 207 



CHAPTER XIX. 

AT HOME IN FREEDOM AND PEACE. 

My boy is mine. His children sit 

At eve upon my knee; 
And yonder by the cheerful fire, 

His smiling wife I see. 

And every face is full of love, 

And every voice is kind; 
I only thought in paradise 

Such blissful joys to find. 

Thou! who such a heavy cross 
Did'st give me strength to bear, 

Grant me all grace and humbleness, 
This joyful crown to wear! 

The following letter was received from 
Isaac, shortly after he and his mother reached 
Detroit : 

Detroit, Michigan, Feb. 10, 1857. 
My feelings can be better imagined than 
described as I left New York and turned my 
face homeward, accompanied by my mother. 
Every thing around seemed engaged to make 
us happy, and often joyful expressions would 
be heard fiom mother, as if she had but just 



208 AUNT SALLY. 



begun to feel that she was a free woman. We 
went to Dunkirk by means of a pass given us 
to that point by the gentlemanly president 
of the Erie Railroad Company. As the cars 
moved from Jersey City, we each gave one 
hearty "Thank God!" that we had at last 
started for our home. We had not gone far 
before we became the subject of remark among 
the passengers. Curiosity led many to want 
to know something about the strangely dressed 
old negro woman, and they would pass and 
look at us inquiringly. At length, one asked 
mother whence she came, and where she was 
going, to which she said, 

"I's all de way from Alabama, an' I 's 
gwine home with my son. He 's bought me." 

I went into another car for a few minutes, 
and as I came back I found a crowd around 
her, each one listening with attention to what 
she was saying; Her eyes seemed to assist 
her mouth in telling her story. The news 
soon spread from one car to another — " A 
mother bought by her son ! " As I heard 
the comments that were passed upon itj 1 
must say that it seemed to me the proudest 
and happiest period of my life. At dinner 
time, a gentleman said to me. "Take the old 



AUNT SALLY. 209 



lady out to dinner, and I will pay for you 
both," which he did. So we went on till we 
reached Dunkirk, where we took the cars for 
Buffalo. We had a kind reception at Buffalo, 
and money enough was added to our little 
store to send us home. We reached Windsor, 
opposite Detroit, at half-past 11 o'clock in the 
evening of February 2d. 

"Is dis whar we 's gwine to stop?" said 
mother. 

" Oh, no ; this is only the end of the rail- 
road." 

"Den ain't I gwine no more on de cars?" 

" No, we 're almost home." 

We now went down to the water's edge to 
get on board the ferryboat to cross the river. 

"Are we gwine on dis yere place, Isaac?" 

"Yes, mother, this is the boat." 

We seated ourselves in the saloon, and were 
soon landed safely on the Detroit sids. 

" Is dis de place whar we 's to stop ? " 

"Yes, this is the place." 

" Thank de Lord ! I 's done got over trav- 
elin'. Now I wants to see de chil'en. 0>me, 
let 's go;" and she started on as if she had a 
perfect knowledge of the way. 

" Stop, mother, we 're not going out yet. 
14 



210 AUNT SALLY. 



It 's a good ways, and I must get some kind 
of a carriage to take the trunks up, so we '11 
ride." 

"I can walk, Isaac, I 's been so much trouble 
an' 'spense to ye dat I do n't want ye to spend 
another penny for me." 

But a carriage was procured, and soon we 
were seated within and on our way through 
the dark and silent streets to the humble but 
much-loved home whence I had been absent 
since July, 1856. 

Mother was silent till the carriage stopped 
at the gate. Then she said — 

"Is dis de house?" 

" Yes, mother." 

" Den I aint got to go no whar agin." 

" Xo, we are at home now." 

I got out and gave her my hand to help her 
out, but she stepped down alone, and went up 
to the door, waiting till it should be opened. 
It was now twelve o'clock, and the family 
were all in bed, but a few hard and familiar 
raps on the door were sufficient to rouse 
them. Soon my wife opened the window and 
exclaimed, " I know that voice," and laughing 
for pure joy, she called out to the children 
tho welcome news, 



AUNT SALLY. 211 



" Pa and grandma 's come ! " 

And without stopping for many clothes, 
they ran down and opened the door, and 
received us with the heartiest expressions 
of love and kindness. Some one then opened 
the door of the front room, and mother passed 
into it, and I presented each one separately 
to her. 

" Oh, mother ! mother ! " said my wife, " I' m 
so glad to see you ! " 

" And I too, and I too," said all the rest. 
Mother had heard me tell of each one and 
learnt their names long before, so looking 
around upon them, she said, "Whar's Mary?" 

"Mary, my oldest child, is married and 
lives near by. She with her husband was at 
once sent for, and came, with her baby in her 
arms. After the most cordial greetings had 
been exchanged, mother seemed satisfied, and 
exclaimed— 

"Thanks to de good Lord! He's been so 
good to me. See what He's done for me. 
Glory and honor to His name ! I 'd almos' 
gin out, but de Lord He prepar'd de way, 

" Chil'n, I can't tell you how glad I is to 
see you all!" 

An hour and a half passed away before we 



212 AUNT SALLY. 



really knew it, and the clock striking two, 
reminded us that we must let the children 
go back to bed, and take a luncheon ourselves. 
But before we separated, all joined in singing 
this good old hymn : 

"And are we yet alive 

And see each other's face ? 

Glory and praise to Jesus give, 

For His redeeming grace. 

"What troubles have we seen; 

What conflicts have we passed; 
i Fightings without and foes within, 
Since we assembled last. 

" But out, of all, the Lord 

Has brought us by His love; 
And still He doth His help afford, 
And hide our life above." 

Never in all my life did I feel just as I did 
then in prayer to Him who had permitted us 
to meet around one common altar. That night 
will long live in the memory of the family. 

About nine o'clock the next morning, all 
came together again for devotions, and after- 
ward we partook of a refreshing meal. Now 
mother could fully be seen, walking from one 
part of the house to another. She seemed 
perfectly happy, and would exclaim, 



AUNT SALLY. 211 



"How well you 's fixed up ! Every thing's 
so nice ! Weil, I dunno what to say, only I 
thank de Lord for it." 

And this is the mother and this is the 
son, who, through such peril and labor, have 
escaped from bondage into freedom. The 
facts need no comments. They are eloquent 
enough of themselves. But when we remem- 
ber that these are not isolated cases, but that 
every day there is this suffering and strife for 
liberty, with only now and then one fortunate 
enough to obtain it, they become "trumpet-" 
tongued," and plead with us to rest not^till all 
over the land liberty shall no longer be a name 
only, but the right and blessing of every creature. 

Sally was somewhat affected by the change 
of climate. "When a slave at Fayetteville, 
one of her feet was injured while she was at 
work in the field. It had never been very 
strong, and now the intense cold increased 
the lameness, so that for sometime she could 
hardly walk; but at the coming on of the 
warmer weather she recovered. Since she 
went to Detroit, she has been very desirous 
to obtain work as a cook by the week or tho 
month, in order to assist her son, and also for 
her own peace of mind. 



214 AUNT SALLY. 



" Oh ! " says she, " when I ain't doin' no- 
thin' I 's all de time thinkin' on 'em down 
dere in Alabama. Poor creeters! dey wants 
to be free, an' dey can't. I feel so bad for 
'em! 'Pears like I mus' be busy to keep dese 
yer thoughts out 'o my head." 

But Isaac thinks his mother has labored 
long enough, and is not willing she should 
leave his home. She seems entirely happy 
in his family, and does every thing in her 
power to contribute to the household com- 
fort, and, in return, all try to make her life 
pleasant. She makes a great pet of Isaac's 
youngest child, a little girl, three years old, 
who, she thinks, resembles the little Lewis 
that was sold from her at Fayetteville. One 
day a lady called to see Sally, and, going into 
the house, saw only this little child. 

"Where 's your grandma?" said she. 

"O I 'spose she 's singin' 'bout her Jesus," 
was the answer. When Sally entered, the 
lady began to talk to her about her life, and, 
merely to see what reply she would make, 
asked her if all that was published about her 
in the papers was true. 

" Oh ! " said she, " every word on 't — every 
word on 't ! When dey reads it to me, it 



AUNT SALLY. 215 



makes me feel sick, it brings back de ole 
times so. Den I thinks so much 'bout all 
dem I 's lef behind. I wish dey was free. I 
lo so ! I haint forgot 'em, none of 'em, nor 
poor mas'r nor missis." 

" I suppose you enjoy it very much to have 
your time to yourself? " said the lady. 

" Yes, indeed ! 'pears like it 's so nice to lie 
a-bed in de mornin jes' as long as I please. I 
use to think about it in Alabama, an' wonder 
if de time ever 'd come when I should n't have 
to get up soon as de day broke." 

Sally never goes from home without her 
"free papers," lest in some way her dearly 
prized liberty should be endangered. She 
has made many visits in Detroit and the 
vicinity, and been received and treated with 
much kind attention by those who knew her 
history. She greatly enjoys hearing her son 
preach on the Sabbath, and is interested in 
all he is doing, and desires to help him. Uni- 
formly cheerful, she looks at her mercies rather 
than her trials. She knows not whether her 
first husband is living or dead. She has never 
heard a word from her little Lewis, since the 
trader told her of his having been sold at 
Claiborne. When she last heard of her son 



216 



AUNT SALLY. 



Daniel, he was in jail in "Virginia, having 
escaped from a cruel master in North Caro- 
lina, and fled toward the North, and been 
taken up and imprisoned as a runaway slave. 
She prays for them all, but she looks at Isaac 
and is happy. 

In every affliction she has trusted the Lord, 
and felt that He could turn her sorrows to 
blessings. Truly, to her the Cross has been 
the Way of Freedom.